By Darin Anderson
Our church has a good size field on the property, so as soon as I got here a little over a year ago I envisioned kids playing soccer all over that field. We have a few other soccer playing dads and young adults in the church who agreed to help me coach, so in September we kicked off Tuesday night soccer! All we did was put up a few small signs on the street by our church saying, “Free Soccer Clinics, 6 pm Tuesdays,” and invited families from our church with kids ages 4-10. A few of us also invited some neighbors we’ve been building relationships with.
On the first Tuesday, in addition to about 10 kids from our church we had an additional 6 show up! While the kids played soccer, the parents hung out on the sidelines and got to chatting with each other. Half way through the hour long clinic we took a break, gave the kids a snack and did a short devotional talk on John 3:16. The next week all the kids were back, and another new family came out. This happened almost every week!
By the end of October, after only 8 Tuesdays of soccer, we had gotten to know 8 families from our near community! When they filled out the response / information card at the end of the season, two of those families checked the box expressing interest in learning more about “Hope – gaining victory over sin, and finding answers to hard questions.” We have provided those families with resources and relational follow-up, and hope that some of them will follow through on what they have expressed as interest in visiting our church!
Our senior pastor (who has been here seven years) said that this has been the single most effective thing we have done to become visible and attractive in our immediate neighborhood. We are thanking God for bringing these families, and are praying that the seeds of the gospel will germinate in their hearts very soon!