I came across the below quote from Ed Stetzer recently and was startled by the amount of truth it contained.
“One of the reasons many believers are unengaged in mission is because they are unengaged in community.”
This makes sense, doesn’t it? What happens to a believer who is not in community? That person is ultimately stagnate because they can’t grow by themselves. That’s why we need community (the church). Even God is in community (the Trinity) and we are made in His image (technically, their image – Genesis 1:26). We were made to exist and grow in community.
What does this have to do with sports ministry? Well, if you have a desire to reach people through sports, then you need to be in community. For your own sanctification, you need people to hold you accountable, to encourage you, and to bear your burdens. Through this type of community, you grow in the gospel and growth in the gospel will always lead to mission. Community helps you become dazzled by the gospel and when this happens–you can’t help but share God’s story with others. Don’t mistake community for just being a place where you can be mobilized for ministry though. Also think of community as a place to do ministry together–to be missional together. Often we think evangelism is a one-on-one sport but it doesn’t have to be. Evangelism is even better as a team sport.
If you’re a sports minister, be looking for ways to create community among your coaches, volunteers, players, etc. Also, be looking for ways you can cast vision to existing communities to help them use sports as a missional tool.