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Spring 2012

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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CHRISTIANS IN SPORT

Chaplaincy at the 2012 Games

Resources for your church to use during the Games Interview with Rob Parsons

Interview with Rob Parson


Editorial Thanks to you, under every story you will read in this magazine lies a solid wall of invaluable financial and prayer support, that makes it possible. Brick upon brick enables training for over 6,500 Christians in sport, thousands of sportspeople to hear the gospel and leaders to be equipped across the world. Recently a few of these bricks have fallen out of the wall, making it hard to plan for the future. As you read along, please do have a prayerful consider if you would be able to commit to a brick or two, to make the path under foot a little securer as we plan ahead post 2012. But if nothing else, please grab a cuppa and be encouraged by what an amazing God we have and the incredible way He is using 2012 for His good. Elizabeth Hunt (Wiz) Reading HC, St Andrew’s Church, Oxford

Contents

Please see enclosed in this magazine the Brick by Brick flyer.

How can your church engage with the Games?

Inside Sport

06

Christ Church Durham Associate, Rob Parson, shares what motivates him to share his faith at Durham University HC.

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A handful of great ideas and resources your church can use.

Support in place for London 2012 athletes

16

An insight into chaplaincy at the 2012 Games by Andrew Wingfield Digby.

Sport Networks

20

Snapshot of Sport Networks alive and kicking.


The kind of relationship we shall never tire of pursuing I don’t think I could ever get tired of reading about Christians in Sport telling sportspeople the Good News. Since the last magazine, there have been numerous evangelistic events around the UK and the article on the Glasgow University Events Week (page 10) is an excellent snapshot of our day to day work as we support Christian sportspeople. On a less formal level than pre-arranged mission events, there are now 17 Sport Networks (page 23). These are a great way for adults in the same sport and who share a passion for passing on the Christian faith to get to know each other all over the UK. It’s very encouraging to see these Networks develop and they are already bearing fruit in evangelism. Meanwhile, the 2012 Games are almost upon us. Sport is on the radar of our churches as never before and we are thrilled that the 2012 Sports Quiz is being used in hundreds of venues, as Christian sportspeople invite their friends to hear the gospel in such an easy environment. On the specialist level of Chaplaincy in the Olympic Park, the article by Andrew Wingfield Digby, one of the most experienced international chaplains in the world of professional sport, gives a real insight into what goes on in Olympic Chaplaincy (page 16). On the more general level which impacts most of us, I wonder what your church will be doing to take advantage of the opportunities in your community afforded by this great sporting occasion (page 8). The Games will bring hundreds of overseas sports missionaries to the UK, some of whom will have been trained by Christians in Sport in their home country. We are involved in this kind of training across the world throughout the year, but you’ll get a taste

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of what it looks like when you read the article on the training in Macedonia (page 28). It is a great honour to partner for the gospel internationally. However, at the foundation of all the evangelism and training we support in the world of sport, both in the UK and overseas, is our relationship with local churches. I’m delighted that we are able to partner with and serve hundreds of churches across the UK, who have a passion to reach sportspeople for Christ and to train their Christian sportspeople to do so too. The article on Rob Parson at Christ Church Durham, is a great example of everything we cherish in our relationship with a church, and an example of the kind of relationship we shall never tire of pursuing as we strive to reach the world of sport for Christ through the local church (page 6). Finally, can I ask that you take a close look at our Brick by Brick appeal. Our opportunities for sharing the gospel are growing year by year as more and more sportspeople in our churches are being envisioned and trained to share the gospel and make disciples. Yet money is tighter than it has ever been before. As you consider your giving to Christian mission let me make plain that we think your first priority is to make sure your local church has the money it needs to facilitate mission in your community. Having made that a priority, would you then please consider investing any extra money in the mission to reach the world of sport for Christ. If you invest in the work, we commit to using it to pass on the greatest news in the world, to a world of sport which really needs to hear it. Graham Daniels (Danno), General Director, Hardwick FC, St Andrew the Great, Cambridge.

On a Mission - Page 10

Your Sport Network Reports - Page 20

Sports Mission Leaders Trained in Macedonia - Page 28

What is your church doing for the 2012 Games? - Page 8

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Inside Sport Christ Church Durham Associate, Rob Parson, tells back pages what lies at the heart of his motivation to share Christ with his hockey team.

rp Well you get the ‘Here comes the rev’ line occasionally but mostly it’s been really positive. I’m not sure they totally understand what my job involves but they’ve been really open and keen to chat about it.

rp Not really because Christ Church have been great with giving me time to play on Mondays and Saturdays but yeah I don’t have as much time with the boys as I used to. Partly it’s made me have to trust God more. When you’re a student you have so much time on your hands it’s easy to slip into the thinking of ‘oh well, there will always be another time.’ But now conversations are few and far between I’ve had to be a lot more intentional with my evangelism when I’m with the boys and make the most of every opportunity. I just have to trust that God will use those snippets of chat I get to have. And He really has been; some of my teammates have been keen to read the Bible with me this year. bp That’s class. How did that come about? rp I just wanted to move the odd conversations I was having here and there on a bit and really show them Christ in the Scriptures. The invitation was the hardest thing I think but it was really casual, three of my teammates and I went to Starbucks once a week for a while, had a coffee and looked at Mark’s Gospel. God has been really good giving us the time and opportunity to do it.

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Rob Parson were hearing. And that really was so exciting because it can be really hard and demoralising when you seek opportunities on buses and at training, but I so often let them go because of my sinful pride or apathy, but to know that they have heard the gospel is such good news. I know it doesn’t stop there, but at least it can be a starter to conversations, and because I know that God is in charge and His plan is perfect I can trust that this may be one in a chain of things that result in their salvation.

bp Rob, how have the hockey boys taken you going into full time church work?

bp I guess now your student years are behind you, you’ve less time to spend with your team. Has this made it tougher to share your faith?

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bp So what motivates you to want to share Christ with the hockey club? Rob Parson

bp You also put on a dodgeball tournament for your hockey club recently. Why did you decide to do that? rp Dodgeball is so easy, so much fun, and importantly so competitive. So that’s what I thought might get some of the guys and girls from Durham Uni HC together, but most importantly with a talk explaining who Jesus is and what some of His claims are. So I hired out a hall in a nearby leisure centre, got in touch with Christians in Sport to provide a speaker, sorted out some music and refreshments and started praying. I’d love to say everyone in the whole club came, but that just isn’t true, we probably had about 40 out of 100 which could have been a better turn out, but it was great, that in God’s sovereignty anyone came at all! We played the first few rounds before stopping for refreshments when the speaker proclaimed that Jesus has rescued us and that we need to turn and trust in Him, which was great for me to hear, but also for all my teammates too. It was such a privilege to be part of God’s big plan, to take His message out to all the nations and seeing my teammates listening and thinking through what they

rp Firstly because the Bible tells us to. Simple. But secondly in 1 Peter 2:9 it says ‘you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’ It’s an essential part of being a Christian, it’s part of my identity, to share Christ. In my first year at Durham, at the Pray Play Say Group, we looked at using ‘Two ways to live’ to share Christ and it was there I guess that I realised that evangelising to my friends was possible. It’s been a slow process but the more I do it the more I want to do it and I’ve had the joy of seeing some of my friends come to Christ. Training events such as Pre Season Training have been great to meet up with others trying to do the same thing as me, going through the same struggles but it’s at church where I am fed and encouraged and thus motivated most to share the gospel. bp Being a sportsman yourself and seeing the importance of telling sportspeople the gospel, has this influenced your role as a church associate?

rp I think as sportspeople we naturally notice other sporty people around us so I definitely look out for other sportspeople in the church. (Rob made a point of stressing here that this was obviously not to the extent of excluding others!). I’d say the main thing I encourage sportspeople to do at Christ Church is to keep loving Christ and keeping going with evangelism. Going to Sports Plus, training events and focus groups definitely help with this but they can’t stop there, they’ve got to go and do it in their sports clubs. That’s why it’s important for me to do it too – I can’t be training and encouraging people in evangelism if I’m not doing it myself. I’ve started leading a mid week focus group for sportspeople in the church that can’t make the normal group because of training and some of the hockey boys have started coming too, which is great. I think training sportspeople in evangelism is so important - I can evangelise to my team but if I help train another 10 to share their faith with their friends that’s 10 times the number of sportspeople hearing the gospel. But it has been a challenge getting sportspeople along to the group. I think as sportspeople we tend to get on really well with other sportspeople, people who in many ways are very similar to us and value the same things, and sometimes we avoid situations where we have to interact with others that aren’t as similar. So it’s been a battle trying to combat the ‘it’s not for me’ attitude and make them realise loving and serving others is really important at church. bp And lastly - are you heading to Sports Plus this summer? rp Yeah Brecon 2. I’m really excited to see the boys I’ve lead before to see how they’ve grown and get alongside those that are struggling.

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Host a Mission Team International mission teams are available to help churches with their 2012 Games outreach programmes including children’s clubs, street outreach, big screen community festivals, sports clinics and almost anything else you can think of! For more information on hosting a mission team at your church visit morethangold.org.uk/missionteams.

Pray

Run a Holiday Club

Prayer is vital and goes hand in hand with mission. Join churches from around the world as they create a prayer wave under the banner of ‘A Time to Shine’ - starting from day 1 of the Torch Relay through to the end of the Paralympics. For ideas of what to pray for and to find prayer events near you visit morethangold.org.uk/prayer.

A ‘2012 Games’ themed holiday club will go down a treat with young people this summer. Ever thought of doing a holiday club for the elderly? ‘Holiday at Home’ is a step by step guide to help you run a successful holiday club for the over 65s in your community, drawing on the theme of the coming Games. For more information visit morethangold.org.uk/holiday-clubs.

WHAT IS YOUR CHURCH DOING FOR THE 2012 GAMES? Be a Games Pastor

Host an Athlete’s Family

Games Pastors will be trained, equipped and supported to assist travellers, sightseers and spectators with practical advice and help. Effectively, they will demonstrate the love of Christ on the streets and at transport terminals to those visiting London for the 2012 Games. Think you’ve got what it takes? For more information on how to apply visit morethangold.org.uk/gamespastors.

During the 2012 Games the cost of hotel accommodation will be astronomical. Have a think if your church could provide hospitality (bed and breakfast, transport, a guide etc.) for an athlete’s ‘support family’ (family members, team officials, personal coach, friends critical to their support) so they can afford to be there. To find out what it means to be a host visit morethangold.org.uk/homestay.

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Organise a Large Screen Festival The BBC have given churches absolute freedom to show the Games on big screens as long as the content is not edited and you don’t charge viewers. So why not stage your own big screen festival, see what churches in your area have planned or take your church to one of the more than 20 official big screen events in major UK cities. To find a full guide to run a big screen event visit morethangold.org.uk/free-resources.

The 2012 Games provide a unique opportunity, their appeal both universal and ageless. They will be a picture of struggle, challenge, achievement, success and failure - what a recipe for bringing the reality of the gospel to bear on people’s lives. ‘More Than Gold’ is the umbrella organisation set up by all the main denominations to help churches make the most of the Games. Here are just a few great ideas for your church to consider doing this summer. For more suggestions take a look at the More Than Gold Resources leaflet enclosed in this magazine or visit morethangold.org.uk.

Run a 2012 Sports Tournament Book out a sports hall or find a large outdoor space and organise a day/evening of Olympic style sports fun. Either run it yourself with the help of handy guides online or give Christians in Sport a call and they could come and run it for you and give a short half time gospel talk relevant to young sportspeople. For more information visit christiansinsport.org.uk/tournament.

Run a 2012 Sports Quiz Why not host a sports quiz for sportspeople in your church to invite their friends to hear the gospel. Get in touch with Christians in Sport who can send you a six-round Olympic themed sports quiz and 9 minute gospel talk on a DVD, or even provide a speaker and host. All you have to do is run the evening and make sure you’ve got some top prizes in place for the teams! To request your 2012 Sports Quiz visit christianinsport.org.uk/quiz. christiansinsport.org.uk .09


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On a Mission Over the last few months Christians in Sport, alongside local churches and UCCF, have played a part in delivering three university missions and even more school missions. That’s hundreds, if not thousands, of sportspeople hearing the good news of Jesus. But how does putting on a mission help the Christian in sport with their evangelism? Here’s just one mission story of many that could be shared…

The Aftermath… As soon as Danno and Kirst left everyone was buzzing. ‘That was so good – why have we not talked about this stuff before?’ ‘We should definitely do that again!’ ‘I can’t believe the other guys missed this.’ Everyone then headed to the acoustic evening and heard Danno speak. Afterwards they individually bombarded him with questions - they couldn’t get enough!! Since that day we have had more and more conversations and it is a much more open discussion than before.

Glasgow University CU Events Week: Setting the Scene The Glasgow University CU have been known for stating ‘We are a mission team on campus’ and events week was exactly that; sharing the good news of the gospel to a generation without Jesus and without hope. The week was run by the CU with the help of Graham Daniels (Danno), Kirsten Ross, Christians in Sport interns and students from Cornhill Bible College. The theme of the week was ‘What If?’ and each day lunchbars and evening events (e.g. a sports quiz, cake evening and acoustic night) were put on, at which Danno unpacked a ‘What If?’ question such as ‘What if there is too much suffering in the world for me to believe in God?’

A dinner with a difference… Up until that week I still hadn’t spoken to some of my friends about God and I really wanted to give them the chance to ask whatever questions they had. Knowing there would be help on hand to answer tough questions, I decided to put on a Dialogue Dinner at my house before one of the evening events. The evening was amazing and 11 of my friends came along. I honestly don’t know how to describe

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it, only that I couldn’t stop smiling for about a week - no joke!! Everyone came about 5.30pm and were introduced on arrival to Danno and Kirsten. I explained what the evening was about (although they already knew of course!!) and told them that if they liked they could write their questions down anonymously using the pens and the paper in the middle of the room. By the end of the main course nobody had picked up a pen! New tactic - Kirsten had the bright idea of passing the pens and paper around, encouraging them to write down 1or 2 questions. We served dessert just before 6.30pm and I asked the first question ‘If God is so powerful and our ‘protector’ why is there so much suffering in the world?’ Kirsten and Danno unpacked this and fired a question back which opened up a deep discussion for an hour! Some of my friends really engaged and were really thinking things through - it was amazing.

The most encouraging part of the week was how God worked in my friend Alannah’s life. I have been praying for her all year and she had come to church with me once before. She came to two lunchbars, the coffee and cake evening, the Dialogue Dinner and acoustic evening. So she heard the gospel four times!! Afterwards when I asked her what was the most impacting thing she heard that week she replied ‘I just can’t believe Jesus died for me!’ Since then she bought a Bible for herself and even went to church by herself when I had hockey one Sunday!! Even though I have been praying – God has surprised me time and time again!!

Anna-Mae Morton, Clydesdale Western Hockey Club, Tassagh Presbyterian

To listen to talks from the Glasgow University Events Week visit christiansinsport.org.uk/resources.

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Introducing the

2012 Sports Quiz At a time when sport is on everyone’s radar - host a 2012 Sports Quiz. The 2012 Sports Quiz DVD pack includes: • 6 Round Multimedia Sports Quiz • 9 Minute Gospel Talk • Handy ‘How to’ Guides

2012 Sports Quiz

‘Really easy event to put on, great fun and brilliant to bring teammates to.’ Beth Cutting, Finchampstead Baptist Church ‘Every year my cricket mates ask me ‘what’s the date for the next quiz?’ They love it, they don’t mind hearing the gospel, they even talk about it afterwards and they just love the quiz. It’s a great event.’ Vaughan Roberts, St Ebbe’s Oxford

Request your free 2012 Sports Quiz pack at christiansinsport.org.uk/quiz.


Pick Your Kit... I WILL BE FEARLESS.

I WILL BE FAITHFUL.

I WILL BE FOCUSSED.

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Shop online at christiansinsport.org.uk/shop


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Support in place for London 2012 athletes Chaplaincy at the 2012 Games this summer, and by implication other major sports events, is taking a qualitative leap forward. Approximately 150 designated chaplains (representing all the main religions) will be working at the venues, in the media centres and of course in the Athletes’ Village. My own experience of the Olympics began in Seoul in 1988 when, along with Rev Peter Swaffield, we were part of a very dynamic international chaplaincy team with great freedom to go wherever we liked in the Village and even get to some events. There were many wonderful moments during those five weeks in Korea; praying and singing in the open air with a group of athletes, distributing Christian literature to enquirers who came to the chapel, reassuring show jumper, David Broome, that the call to prayer which was waking him up was not Christian but Muslim! Standing alongside British cyclist, Phil Bateman, as he worked through the disappointment of not getting a medal but then leading a fellow Olympian to Christ and realising that was the greater victory. I have had the opportunity since then, as have many of the international chaplains, of being in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney as well World Student and Commonwealth Games. We have learnt what

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is possible and what is wise; open evangelism by the chaplains is unwise as it will close the door for future ministry. If there is one thing the organisers of the Games fear from chaplains it is what they call proseletysation (the act of attempting to convert people to another religion) and we must respect the Olympic Charter which protects religious freedom. So what will the team be doing this summer? My role will be to give some leadership to a team of 20 or so international Christian chaplains at both the Olympics and the Paralympics. This is a team of sports mission specialists. We will stay together in Hackney and join the other chaplains in 8 hour ‘shifts’ working in the village. Like all the other 70,000 volunteers we will have a uniform and be there to serve the Games. Almost certainly all of those reading this will see more of the Games than we will, we will not get to any events or receive any tickets. But, we will be in the Olympic Village able to seek out those divine appointments as we wander around. We will be able to contact believers and encourage and pray with them in success and failure. We may well be asked to lead a Bible study or prayer meeting with a Christian group in a team. We will be there to cope with any pastoral crises that occur. We will hold daily services and prayer meetings in the chapel. We will have approved resources to give to enquirers. We will be careful, sensitive to our positions as guests at the Games, but ready for anything as Paul says to Timothy ‘in season and out of season’. And remember we are more than chaplains just to

athletes and officials, there are thousands among the spectators, volunteers, media and Olympic family for whom we are also to care in Christ’s Name.

3. Pray for those Christians you know who are competing - that they will shine as lights in the darkness in success or failure.

So what can you be praying for this summer?

4. Pray for the safety of the Games - security is a huge issue.

1. Thank God for the way He has used Duncan Green (responsible for all the religious provision at the 2012 Games) to open the door for so many chaplains and pray for Duncan as he leads the whole enterprise. 2. Pray for the chaplains - that we can make early contact with all believers as they arrive in the Village.

Oh and maybe a few British medals would be nice…. but don’t pray for them!

Andrew Wingfield Digby, Vicar at St Andrew’s Church Oxford


I WILL BE FEARLESS.

“For me being fearless means not allowing anything to hold me back. In a playing context that means not hesitating before making a tackle that I know is going to hurt. Outside of that, it means taking myself out of the picture and being willing to take the opportunities to point to Jesus when they come up - whether that’s in a conversation on the bus back from an away match, inviting one of my friends to an event or to church, or being prepared to be different in the way I behave on a night out. It’s allowing God total control - no holds barred.” Jessie-Joy Flowers, Oxford University Women’s Rugby Football Club, St Ebbe’s Oxford

“As much as I may not always like where my coach puts me in the formation, I still feel like I have to be faithful to the team, play my heart out and do the best I can wherever I’m on the pitch. In the same way, it’s undeniable that throughout life God puts me in situations that seem out of my comfort zone. The questions I get asked by teammates, the socials that don’t quite sit right... hard to deal with! Yet I feel like being faithful means that whilst being there for my team and doing my job in the game, I must also be there for God and do His work in whatever position I find myself; I do my best as a Christian - with God’s help - to live life faithful to the Gospel. The best reassurance there is comes from knowing that God has said He’ll never put more on me than I can bear. It’s not always easy, but thank God He’s got my back.”

I WILL BE FAITHFUL.

Timi Dorgu, Honorary Artillery Company FC, St John the Evangelist Upper Holloway

I WILL BE FOCUSSED.

“There are no short cuts to fitness! So being focussed in triathlon means training months in advance for a specific race and with a certain goal in mind and not wavering from that commitment...doing the training even when it means an early alarm or sessions after a bad day at work. Then I know when I line up at the race start I have done everything I can to win. In the same way, to help me from wavering from my faith and the way God wants me to live, I fix my eyes on life’s prize, a place in eternity with my Lord.” Parys Edwards, Ful-on Triathlon Club, Dundonald Church Wimbledon

Watch Jessie, Timi and Parys share what it means to be fearless, faithful and focussed in 2012.

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Your Sport Network Reports Guest Events

Prayer Calls And Breakfasts

Christians in Sport Hockey – SuperSixes National Indoor Finals

Christians in Sport Lacrosse – Prayer Call

“I found it really encouraging to get involved in the Christians in Sport Hockey trip to the indoors, particularly to see that I’m not the only hockey player in the world who is attempting to live for Christ, as sometimes it can feel that way! That the event was packed ensured there was a really great buzz in the pub beforehand and made me feel so much more relaxed that my mates weren’t just coming along alone to some cringe-fest in a weird basement somewhere in Wembley. Over what we all agreed was a glorious breakfast, I felt comfortable to chat to them about my faith and the short testimony complimented that chat well. Overall, my teammates felt really welcome, comfortable and really enjoyed the finals while being given a little something of the Christian faith to chew over.” James Bunyan, Royal Holloway University Hockey Club, Christ Church, Virginia Water

Christians in Sport Tennis – Aegon Masters Championship “The very first Christians in Sport Tennis event saw 20 of us converge on the Aegon Masters at London’s Royal Albert Hall. We met up with friends in Carluccios in Kensington where Alison Nicholas, golf’s victorious European Solheim Cup team captain, shared her testimony. After dinner and some great banter we got to the Albert Hall and had a few hours watching the likes of John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Tim Henman and Mark Philippoussis. Awesome! Feedback from friends on the way home on the train was so positive. It was a real blessing to have a whole evening to get to know each other.” Martin Brooke, Fulbourn Tennis Club, St Andrew the Great, Cambridge

Christians in Sport Athletics – Aviva Grand Prix “Every February at the NIA in Birmingham, the world’s best indoor athletics competition is held. This was the perfect opportunity for Christians in Sport Athletics to invite their training partners along to watch the athletics for the afternoon and then head across to a near by pub to have a meal whilst a short talk on the Christian faith was given. With an opportunity at the end for questions to be asked. I found it really encouraging to see that the idea of being a Christian was on the minds of my training partners. The conversations on the way home were great and flowed really naturally in response to the talk. Overall a great day out watching some top class performances and so great to be able to share with my mates the Gospel of Christ.” Danny Driver, Southport Waterloo A.C, Bootle Team Ministry 20. christiansinsport.org.uk

“The Lacrosse prayer call in February was a real milestone for our Sport Network. It was the first thing we’ve done outside of a residential Christians in Sport event! We’re a baby network with about 15 members, but having three of us pray together really focussed me on begging the Lord to reach the world of lacrosse through us. It reminded me that I’m not the only one doing it! It’s really encouraging to share ideas and pray for the boys and coach with.“ Austin Kettle, University of Exeter Lacrosse Club, St Leonard’s Church

Christians in Sport Rugby (Men’s) – Cardiff Prayer Breakfast “The event consisted of rugby players getting together, having a bit of food, opening God’s word and encouraging each other in prayer. We prayed for the world of welsh rugby itself, asking God to raise up more Christian Rugby players in these clubs and to bring people to know Him, from professionals right through to juniors. We prayed for each other’s witness within in our clubs especially praying for some of our closest rugby mates who we long to share Christ with. It reminded me that I’m not alone as a Christian rugby player, that there are others who love Jesus who are facing similar challenges within the world of rugby. It also challenged me to remember that my rugby team is my mission field, that I shouldn’t become complacent but instead continue living for Christ and pray and long to speak of Jesus to the boys I play with. Finally, it really sparked a desire within me to want to find more Christian rugby players in Wales, and not just rugby players, but Christian sportspeople in Wales. It would be great to see more sportspeople living and playing for Jesus in their clubs across Wales.” Owen Broad, Newport R.F.C, Highfields Church Cardiff

Christians in Sport Women’s Football – Prayer Call “I’ve had a pretty difficult season with football, but prayer calls have been the monthly boost I have needed to see me through.” Lydia Amarquaye, Old Actonians FC, East Ham Elim Church

To join your Sport Network visit christiansinsport.org.uk/sportnetworks


Training Events Christians in Sport Triathlon/Cycling/Athletics – Training Weekend “Prior to the first-ever Triathlon, Cycling and Athletics Training Weekend I knew only Parys Edwards from Christians in Sport Triathlon, and even then we had only briefly spoken. As it transpired I was not alone, as there were several others who were also new to a Christians in Sport training event. What a weekend! Massively encouraging, loads of opportunities to speak with like-minded people, great banter and the chance to go for some challenging training rides on possibly the windiest weekend of the year (phew). In a smaller group setting it was easier to share experiences of being a Christian in our individual sports, pray for each other as well as hear some great Bible teaching.” Tim Thorpe, Headington Baptist Church Oxford

Christians in Sport Football (Men’s) – Training Weekend “The training weekend was a time of great encouragement, great banter, great football, and great study looking at how we can play football in a way honouring to God and a way that shows our teammates the hope we have in Jesus. I was really encouraged to see so many other Christian football players and to pray with them. What challenged me was the numbers of footballers across the country who may not have ever heard the gospel and the massive mission field that is there for us to get into!” Tim Wallace, Cambray Baptist Church FC, Cambray Baptist Church

Christians in Sport Ultimate – Training Day “10 of us gathered together in Clapham Junction and spent the day reminding ourselves of what it looks like to Pray Play Say, focussing always on the gospel as our inspiration to live out our faith with our friends in the world of ultimate. We looked at and practised giving our testimonies, and were challenged by the biblical model of love and commitment, thinking about how we could show that to our teammates. The day would not have been complete without a time of prayer - as well as a bit of frisbee! We’re looking forward to having more training days in future, but are especially excited about the events we could put on which would enable our teammates to hear the gospel!” Rosie Musgrave, SYC Ultimate Club, St Ebbe’s Oxford

Your Sport Network Sport Networks are run by people who play your sport. They get the culture. They get the unique challenges and opportunities to represent Christ in your sport. They get what you need to help you share your faith. There are currently 17 Sport Networks, giving you the opportunity to link in with other Christians in your sport locally and nationwide for encouragement and prayer and events to bring your friends in sport to. Sign up to your Sport Network online today to receive your FREE Welcome Pack. Christians in Sport Netball netball@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Rugby (Women) Christians in Sport Sailing sailing@christiansinsport.org.uk rugby@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Tennis tennis@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Rugby (Men) rugby@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Rowing rowing@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Triathlon triathlon@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Ultimate ultimate@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Basketball basketball@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Hockey hockey@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Cricket cricket@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Cycling cycling@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Football (Women) football@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Athletics athletics@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Lacrosse lacrosse@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Football (Men) football@christiansinsport.org.uk

Christians in Sport Volleyball volleyball@christiansinsport.org.uk

Where have you stuck your Sport Network sticker? Not got your sticker? Join your Sport Network at christiansinsport.org.uk/sportnetworks to receive a free welcome pack including your sticker.

Athletes practicing to share their faith

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I WILL BE FEARLESS.

I WILL BE FAITHFUL.

I WILL BE FOCUSSED.

EUROPEAN SPORTS LEADERSHIP SCHOOL

ISLT Level 2 3rd - 26th July 2012 England, UK Want to see your sports club, your city, your country impacted for Christ in and through sport? The ESLS is an international school focusing on handling the Bible, sharing the gospel, understanding culture and developing leaders.

christiansinsport.org.uk/2012

ARE YOU CHRISTIANS IN SPORT 2012?

For more information or an application form visit www.christiansinsport.org.uk/esls or contact suzy@christiansinsport.org.uk


christiansinsport.org.uk

A Penny For Your Thoughts If I was given a penny for every time I was stopped by a stranger, by someone at a church or at a school, a student or a parent about Sports Plus, I wouldn’t be a millionaire, but I would have a decent amount of extra cash for another caramel latte!! Over the last 15 years Sports Plus has undoubtedly had an enormous effect on thousands of young people, parents and leaders lives - but why? Why has it been such a special time for so many and why is it still worth committing to it in 2012 and in years to come?

Young People’s feedback from Sports Plus 2011 consistently fell in line with the things that we really value within Christians in Sport: “I loved the Cricket coaching sessions every morning and learnt so much”, confirms that sport really matters to Christians in Sport. “The main meetings were class - the Bible was explained in a clear and challenging way and we had great times as a team afterwards talking about what it looked like for us”, confirms that Bible truth is our authority and source of salvation, and we make sure it’s central at Sports Plus. “We had such cool leaders - can we please have the same ones next year?”, confirms gospel centred leaders who show love and care for young people really make a difference. The combination of all three values whilst sharing life together within a wonderful sporting environment and facilities makes Sports Plus a very special time. So why is it worth continuing to commit to the future of Sports Plus?

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faithfully and with love and gentleness lead young people wisely. If you’re too old to come as a young person to Sports Plus, would you consider coming as a trainee leader/ coach to learn the skills and glean from the maturity of older leaders around you? There are three key reasons why you should consider making Sports Plus a priority this summer, all three linked in with the three legacies that Christians in Sport want to be known for: 1. Young sportspeople who don’t know Jesus will hear the gospel this summer at Sports Plus. And the gospel is the only power that will save them from the wrath of God and a corrupt world. 2. Young Christians will be encouraged and better equipped to go and represent and share Jesus in their sports clubs and teams. 3. We spend time as a team of leaders having wonderful fellowship, training to be distinct in the world of sport and then sent back to our churches to encourage others to reach the world of sport for

If you’ve been before I wonder what your answer is?

Christ.

If you haven’t been before, I wonder if you’ll consider taking a week out and joining the leaders. We are always in need of specialist skills - medical team, tech team, qualified coaches and we’re always on the look out for quality team leaders who can handle the Bible

The next generation need us, so please consider coming along to Sports Plus this year and help make 2012 a summer that hundreds of young people will never forget.

Ian Lancaster (Lancs), Youth Team Leader

To book your place online at Sports Plus visit christiansinsport.org.uk/sportsplus


christiansinsport.org.uk

Sports Mission Leaders Trained in Macedonia January 2012 saw Macedonia host it’s first ever three day school for sports mission leaders. I was fortunate enough to be part of the training team, getting alongside sportspeople and church leaders as they learnt how to share the gospel in sport and lead sports mission themselves. The group was gathered from across Macedonia and neighbouring Bosnia by Igor, a man with a great passion to see Eastern Europe transformed by the gospel in and through sport. It was an amazing encouragement to meet Slavko and Nenad, also on the training team, who had come to Christ though the witness of Igor in their martial arts club. Although challenging communicating through a translator, it was a joy to see Christians of different languages and cultures grappling with God’s word and how best to communicate its truth. In particular, the testimony of Slavko and his desire to represent Jesus in his sport was inspiring, his passion visibly growing over the few days spent together. Despite evangelical Christianity often being seen as a cult in Macedonia, making it very difficult to engage with people about Jesus, God is working powerfully. People are coming to Jesus through the faithful witness of people just like those at the school and it was great to see local church leaders and sportspeople dreaming, planning and praying for God to continue working in their country.

Helen Nicholson, Randalstown Hockey Club, High Kirk Ballymena

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5 minutes with... Steph Sparks

christiansinsport.org.uk

University Pray Play Say Groups Great opportunity to meet up with other students, pray for friends, open the Bible and see how to play in a way that honours God and plan events to put on for friends in sport. ENGLAND - NORTH EAST Dave Hampton Dave.Hampton@christiansinsport.org.uk ENGLAND - NORTH WEST/MIDLANDS Craig Larner Craig.Larner@christiansinsport.org.uk

Steph Sparks (back row second from the right), The Tigers - University of Gloucestershire, Trinity Cheltenham

Last year two lone rangers faithfully attended the University of Gloucestershire Pray Play Say Group. This year has seen an incredible turn around, with 6 members attending Mid Season Training alone in January and as a group hosted a sports quiz for over 50 of their friends to hear the gospel. back pages caught up with one of the current group leaders, Steph Sparks, to find out more about this roller-coaster ride.

ss The quiz went well, people really enjoyed the new quiz and we had a good turn out from teammates. The dodgeball was a great success and the turn out was awesome with over 60 people playing and at least another 20 watching. The teams really got into it with their names and costumes and headbands appeared very popular! The message by Tom was really easy for the uni students to engage with and hear about Jesus for the first time or maybe in a new light.

bp Leading a group through a rapid period of change can’t have been easy. What have you found most challenging about your role?

bp Has being part of the Pray Play Say Group helped your personal witness in your basketball team?

ss I guess a big challenge was taking on the group in the first place and not really knowing what to expect in doing so. However, I saw it as a God given opportunity that I would have regretted not taking and teaching provided at Mid Season Training really helped equip me for my role. It’s been great to see how committed the group have been in supporting each other and really encouraging seeing God working within the group. I have really felt God provide us with boldness to share the word with our teammates and demonstrate what we talk about each week. bp How did the sports quiz and dodgeball tournament you put on as a group for your friends go?

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ss The group has definitely impacted me within my basketball team. It has offered support and prayer when things haven’t been going well and it’s great to have people who understand what you are going through. On another level, studying Pray Play Say has challenged me on being a better witness for Christ within my competitive sport. My attitude, behaviour and performance has been to bring glory to God on court and off. Christians in Sport Basketball is one of the smaller Sport Networks but I’d love to see it grow and be supported and linked in with more Christian basketball players.

ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST Tom Woodbridge Tom.Woodbridge@christiansinsport. org.uk

ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST Charles Kimbangi Charles.Kimbangi@christiansinsport. org.uk NORTHERN IRELAND Rachel Young Rachel.Young@christiansinsport.org.uk

SCOTLAND Kirsten Ross Kirsten@christiansinsport.org.uk WALES Tom Hocking Tom.Hocking@christiansinsport.org.uk

Youth Pray Play Say Groups Great opportunity for young sportspeople (aged 11-17) to get stuck into the Bible and play sport together. The groups are brilliant for young people to learn and encourage each other to play in a way that honours God in their sports teams and clubs. ENGLAND Bradford davidp@emergeonline.org.uk Emmanuel School Newcastle dave_greenshields@hotmail.com emilykdickinson@gmail.com Friends Grammar School steveyrab@hotmail.co.uk Kingham Hill Jeff & Jill Gordon J.Gordon@kingham-hill.oxon.sch.uk Lincoln nickalexander110@hotmail.com sgdiggins@hotmail.com Liverpool davwillis@blueyonder.co.uk Newton Abbot asinden@hotmail.com Portsmouth prayplaysay@syfc.co.uk

St Albans camilla.pinney@ntlworld.com Stroud ruth.graveling@psalms.uk.net andy.harding@psalms.uk.net Winchester claire_lunnrockliffe@hotmail.com Worcester worcester_sportsplus@email.com SCOTLAND Aberdeen mr_djwsmith@hotmail.com kirstenmachlachlan@hotmail.co.uk Edinburgh s_beachie@hotmail.com Glasgow stephen@renton.net Perth kirsten@christiansinsport.org.uk

Stornoway weevle_s@hotmail.com NORTHERN IRELAND Armagh rachel.young@christiansinsport.org.uk Bangor School the4holleys@talktalk.net Ballymena davidnicholson1@gmail.com Banbridge Academy joetcl@hotmail.com Mossley jonnycraig@sky.com WALES Cardiff cardiffpps@hotmail.co.uk


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back pages Spring 2012  

Official publication of Christians in Sport. Stories and news from Christian sportspeople across the UK.