blog | 01.06.21
The beginning of June is the gateway to the summer! You just feel it calling!
The temperatures lift, the eyes itch, everyone seems to have an extra spring in their step - and why not!
And we haven’t yet mentioned sport. This summer has the potential to be bumper feast of sporting treats.
In case you haven’t managed to get your head round the sporting calendar here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer;
If you love sport, surely the mouth waters at such a prospect?
So how do you make the most of it?
One thought - One action - One warning
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly light." James 1:17
The gift of sport has been long debated, considered and challenged. Let’s acknowledge that the ability to play sport, to compete in sport and to enjoy sport are all gifts from God.
God is the generous giver. He gives the eye/hand coordination for the very best at Wimbledon to rally for over 20 shots per point. It is God, the generous giver who gives the spatial awareness to the midfield maestros on display in the Euros. It is God who makes the girl fast, gives the swimmer strength, enables the para-athlete to perform.
So, this summer, as we engage and marvel at the best sporting spectacles this world has to offer let us thank God who gives gifts for us all to enjoy. Whether it be the piece of sublime skill, the under-dog taking the victory, the world record smashed or the hard fought battle and passion on display…for it is he that gives all good gifts.
Even if you wish you were out there playing and not watching - take a few moments this summer to thank God, our father, for his wonderful gift of sport.
Sport gives a context for mission.
If you play in a sports club/team you know how natural relationships are formed with others that you wouldn’t otherwise cross paths with. You enjoy a common bond, a goal that can only be achieved if worked together - deep friendships form with some, amicable ones with others. You’re sharing significant time and your life with sports friends.
There’s an obvious challenge of how we get back to that normality in this season of restriction easing but due to established friendships hopefully that wont be too hard.
Paul talks to the Christians in Thessolonica, reminding them of how he lived among them as he sought to set up a church there on one of his missionary journeys:
“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8
What a model and what a challenge this is for us with our sports friends.
There’s ample opportunity this summer to let the context of sporting spectacles bring you and your friends together. The Sports Mission Pack has provided lots of ideas in the past of how to run large evangelistic events. It might be that picking up an idea from here gives you the perfect platform to bring sports friends together as restrictions allow.
But, perhaps this summer it’s time to gather the few together over food and viewing.
Could you invite sports friends around to watch a big match and share your testimony? Is there an opportunity for invitation to watch a sporting event and show one of these films with time for discussion afterwards?
Pray that God would help you be intentional and be bold whilst sharing life and the good news of Jesus with sports friends this summer.
Grab guides and publicity to put on events this summer.Click here to download
Don’t let the viewing of sport be your time-waster! There’s always a flip side to celebrating the wonderful gift that sport is by ignoring the giver and celebrating the gift.
We may not intentionally make sport our idol and bow down at its shrine but by the hours of viewing and the priority place given it can indicate what really matters and therefore what we truly worship. I need to be measured when it comes to watching sport.
To be aware of the needs around me, the responsibilities that I have that cant be put on hold because of the summer of sport ahead. So don’t let these sporting spectacles consume you this summer.
Enjoy God as you enjoy watching His gift of sport and take heed of Paul’s words to the church in Colossae:
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2
Let Him consume your thoughts and make these sporting spectacles the platform this summer to glorify God and enjoy him wholeheartedly.
Ian is the UK Team Leader for Christians in Sport. He runs with Alchester Running Club and helps lead Town Church Bicester.
Christians in Sport is a UK based charity that aims to reach the world of sport for Christ. We mainly work with sportspeople in competitive and elite sport.
Registered Charity England and Wales 1086570.
Registered Charity Scotland SCO45299.
Company number: 4146081
Photos (c) Shutterstock unless specified