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Top 10 Mistakes Sports Ministers Make

For 20 years plus CEDE Sports has been committed to come alongside Local Churches to catalyze a vigorous and effective pursuit of their mission to reach their communities through the tool of sports, recreation and fitness. One of the ways we accomplish this mission is mentoring Sports Ministers.

In the process of mentoring, we often discuss best practices from other churches as well as the corollary mistakes that well meaning Sports Ministers make. This discussion also usually includes surveying them about their mistakes in ministry.

The response has been tremendous; evidently this question touched a nerve. This blog is our third installment in the series Top 10 Mistakes Sports Ministers Make. (Please sure to read the first two installments here and here.)

Mistake #4
Evaluating success in numbers or in comparison to the ministry down the street.

Mark Twain once wrote, “Comparison is the death of joy.”

Chuck Swindoll said, “When the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.”

Ken Cross says, “Either comparison will puff up or tear you down, but it will never bring contentment.”

Mistake #3
Not developing infrastructure prior to pursuing growth, especially how you pursue the development of coaches and volunteers.

We tend to be so eager to start a league we neglect the hard work of strategic preparation. This could have been the #1 mistake, we see it so often.

My Mom worked many years in a large bank. She would always advocate for the tellers to have adequate training and even a stipend for their clothes because they are the face of the bank!

Those that God brings into your sphere of influence deserve to hear and see the gospel lived out using the tool of sports. Who is the face of the sports ministry? It is too late to develop them after the games begin. If this has happened to you, what will you do for the next season?

Mistake #2
Winning begins to eclipse everything. Sport becomes too big and ministry too small.

This mistake is especially true when your coaches are not developed by the Sports Minister. They simply play sports as they always have, WIN. They are not applying the gospel to what they are doing.

Mistake #1
Those in the sports ministry leadership do not know why you have a sports ministry. Neglecting clear communication of this mission/vision to the coaches, players and the church.

Have you seriously asked yourself the questions concerning your mission and how you are going to move toward it? Have you written it down in a clear way and communicated it with others in a way that they know what that mission is? If you are unsure, ask your most faithful volunteer to tell you what they have heard and see if it matches the vision God has given you.

Like the ESPN Top Ten Plays of the Day, you might not agree with the order in which these have been laid out. Curiously, I am interested in what you think the top three mistakes would be for you. Have we missed some? Email [email protected] and send me a list of your top three and I will report the results in a future blog.


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