A few years ago, Barna released six megathemes from their research in 2010. I would highly recommend reading it. One in particular that struck a chord with me, and should strike those of us in sports ministry, is the fact that Christians are becoming less outreach-oriented. Below is an excerpt:
2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented. Despite technological advances that make communications instant and far-reaching, Christians are becoming more spiritually isolated from non-Christians than was true a decade ago. Examples of this tendency include the fact that less than one-third of born again Christians planned to invite anyone to join them at a church event during the Easter season; teenagers are less inclined to discuss Christianity with their friends than was true in the past; most of the people who become Christians these days do so in response to a personal crisis or the fear of death (particularly among older Americans); and most Americans are unimpressed with the contributions Christians and churches have made to society over the past few years. As young adults have children, the prospect of them seeking a Christian church is diminishing–especially given the absence of faith talk in their conversations with the people they most trust. With atheists becoming more strategic in championing their godless worldview, as well as the increased religious plurality driven by education and immigration, the increasing reticence of Christians to engage in faith-oriented conversations assumes heightened significance.
For those of us in sports ministries, I pray that we can empower believers to use the tool of sports as a context to build relationships with the “harassed and helpless.” This clearly is the very heart of God and so needed in these times.