Whether locally or globally, sports bring people together. Competition, fellowship, and individual growth and improvement are all parts of what makes sports such a draw for children and adults alike. With that, finding ways to work sports into your areas of ministry can be helpful avenues for connecting your community in ways that can also point people to Christ. Pastor Randy Buecheler at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Lake Arrowhead, CA would recommend trying a sports camp, especially during summer when there is plenty of open space in the calendar. Mt. Calvary runs a summer soccer camp through their ministry, which could be a helpful idea to talk through in your community as well.
For Mt. Calvary, the summer soccer camp is a four day program that is run, with permission, at a local elementary school. With a 9:00-11:15am timeframe for Monday-Thursday, families of the community have a week of summertime accounted for that gives their kids something fun, productive, and competitive to do. Mt. Calvary gets a Thrivent action team card to pay for food and other items, and also needs to have plenty of soccer balls and some soccer goals to put it all together. The church invites church members who coach soccer to be a part of the program, with kids who attend getting the opportunity to play soccer, learn and develop skills within the sport, and participate in Bible study and prayer. With that, the soccer camp is not just a way to help kids grow in their soccer abilities, but also come together to learn about Jesus too.
For Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Lake Arrowhead, this summer soccer camp has been a helpful idea to meet a need for the community to find something for their kids to do, as well as provide an opportunity within a sport, which is enjoyable and helpful for families. Contact Pastor Buecheler at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for advice and ideas on how your church or area of ministry could try something similar in your context.