This is a question we often ask sports ministers in our coaching sessions with them. We usually frame it something like this – “If we are talking three years from now and we were to ask you, ‘How is it going?’ If you would then reply something like ‘God has done amazing things in our ministry in the last three years?’ We would then ask, “What has happened?’
At this point, we listen and furiously record the answers. We have learned that, when we ask the question, what most often comes out are the things God has placed on these sports ministers’ hearts. In most cases, these ideas have lain dormant waiting for the opportunity to arise. When that is true, it doesn’t take much to dislodge them into the spoken word.
It is a beautiful experience to be a part of.
Recently, I had such a conversation with a sports minister at a church in the Midwest of the United States. Here is what I heard:
“God has taught us how to love one another – a rich deep real love for each other so that this place is a place where broken, disenfranchised, and tired people come and feel like they belong, where they are loved and cared for. Because of that, God has brought a steady stream of these broken people to our volleyball, futsal and basketball initiatives where they have felt embraced and experienced real life change. Because of this work of God, our gym has gained a reputation as a gym unlike any other in the care and concern we have for the people who come.”
“Also, God has made this a place where coaches, parents, and athletes have rejected a compartmentalized view of life and understood how their faith and sports/fitness integrate so that now they now live their whole life under the banner of the glory of God. These people are not only experiencing this themselves but they are also sharing this with others, imparting this perspective to others – disciples making disciples in our leagues and classes.”
“Lastly, this movement hasn’t stayed here but has spilled out into our community as we have seen God raise up coaches and players that have gone into schools and community recreation and lived out that love and integration, influencing the entire sports community here.”
It took us a little bit of time to get to this, but, as I read these three paragraphs back to him, it moved both of us as we actually started to envision this and think God might possibly do something like what was described there.
Have you ever thought of this question? Whether you are in ministry vocationally or not, if you haven’t, give it some mental energy. In fact, sit with someone you trust and ask them to listen to your answers and give feedback.
Who knows? This exercise just might be God’s way of prying loose what he has placed in your heart for you to pursue!