Sports Ministry Unit
Transforming lives: Strengthening the Church
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Matthew
Sports Ministry Vision
To see sports ministers using the powerful relational tool of sports, within a strategic church-centered approach, to transform the lives of students and youth doing sports, their families and communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Church-Centered Sports Ministry
This ministry focuses on providing training to the church to help godly men and women know how to use sports effectively in a God-honoring way for evangelism, discipleship, and perhaps church planting.
Nigerian students and youth generally love sports. Many of them may not attend church but they will spend hours playing games. Sport provides a great platform to spend time with them in their environment (1 Cor. 9:22). If Christians are strategic about this, much ministry could be done with
sports and many lives could be impacted and transformed by God’s grace.
However, one of the key factors for this to occur is having the correct people involved who have a kingdom mindset.
Sports Ministry is all about ministry and little about sports. We are not looking for the best players per se, though they are also welcome.
Instead, we want to partner with all the Nigerian Baptist churches to help train members who have heart for ministry, and interested in using sports for the glory of God through relational evangelism.
Itis true there are many negatives associated with sports in this contemporary time, but there is also a lot of good associated with it.
Sport is neutral; it is neither good nor bad depending on the person involved in it. We believe the church could help redeem sports and it could be one of the most powerful tools to reach Nigerian youth and students for God’s glory.
Some Advantages of doing sports include:
- Physical gains
- Psychological gains
- Health gains
- Very relational
- Excellent opportunity to teach life skills like discipline, respect, hard work, team spirit etc
6. Sports break down every kind of barrier like tribal, religious etc
Advantages to the Church
There are many advantages a sports ministry can provide to the church which includes:
- Helps address the needs of youth and students (do you know that half of the population of Nigeria is under the age of 18?)
- Involves young people in evangelism, discipleship and church planting
- Shows the community the church is approachable, relevant, and concerned
- Develops new leaders for the church
- Provides another tool to reach out, disciple, and help fulfill the Great Commission
- Provides (financial) security for the future of the church
There are different ways to do sports ministry, however, we focus on training sports ministers to start (and continue) meeting together (weekly) with the interested youth and students. Over time, relationships are built with players and hopefully with their families.
We stress having at least half of the team being non-Christian to create opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. Partnering with the local church is crucial because the task of running a ministry, building relationships, evangelizing, disciplining, and leading
people into closer relationship with Jesus Christ is a Herculean task
that the church is meant to help with.
Thesports minister will do the majority of the work, but he/she will need the church’s supports, especially with prayer and discipleship as people
come to Christ. Financially, it does not take much to start a sports ministry.
We want to serve the Church
The Sports Ministry Unit of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, through the Youth & Students Ministries Department, in partnership with Sports Friends, provides training and discipleship materials, follow up support, and advanced training for the ministry leaders and coaches. Camping and coaches trainings are also available to help support and strengthen the church-centered sports ministry leaders and participants.
If you or someone you know is interested, please contact us to discuss it more and/or find out when our next Basic Training session will be. Please support those in your area who have attended the training(s) and are implementing it.
We believe that now is the time for the harvest and relational Church-Centered Sports Ministry is a tool that the Lord of the Harvest wants to use to draw many to Himself. Apostle Paul says “…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9: 22). Join us to ‘contend for the faith’ through Church-Centered Sports Ministry (Jude 3) and you would not regret you
did. Would you join today?
INTRODUCING NIGERIAN BAPTIST CHURCHES TO SPORTS MINISTRY
For more information, contact
Rev. Samuel A. Alabi -08030497794 or 08159990308.
Pastor Jonah Yila -08037817357.