back pages THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CHRISTIANS IN SPORT
‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’
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About us Christians in Sport supports the local church to reach the world of sport for Christ. Our day to day work involves equipping Christian sportsmen and women of all ages and abilities to represent Jesus in their sports clubs and teams, as well as helping churches across the UK with their evangelistic preaching to sportspeople. Over 14 million people are involved in sport in the UK and with this figure only looking to increase post Olympics, we think it’s safe to say that sport will remain a significant driver of culture for years to come. We want to serve churches and their many players, coaches and administrators, as they spread the unstoppable message of the gospel through their local sports clubs.
Scan this QR code or visit the Christians in Sport youtube Channel to watch ‘The World of Sport: Will you go?’ – a short video on why the sports world needs Jesus.
Contents 8 -9
16 - 19
Stories, pictures, tweets and resources from this summer’s Sports Plus and information on Sports Plus 2013.
Laura Wingfield Digby, Youth Worker at Frampton Park Baptist Church in Hackney, talks about reaching out to young people through sport in inner city London.
YOUNG SPORTSPEOPLE EXPLORE JESUS’ OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS
INNER CITY SPORTS OUTREACH
12 - 13
24 - 27
A MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH...WHY STOP NOW?
REACHING THE WORLD OF SPORT FOR CHRIST
Dave Willson, CEO of More Than Gold, delights over the Church’s involvement in the 2012 Games and challenges it to keep going.
Resources and opportunities for churches and sportspeople to reach the world of sport for Christ. Including Bible studies, training schemes, evangelistic trips and information on how to support the work financially.
Beautiful Feet How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15. 14
Christians in Sport is partly made up of 7,000 sportspeople who can’t help but ‘Pray Play Say’. They want to ‘pray’ for their friends in sport, they want to ‘play’ in a way which honours the God who gave them their talents, and they want to ‘say’ something of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross. Christians in Sport is made up of those who have ‘beautiful feet’ because they bring good news into the world of sport, the world of sport where they belong, the world of sport which they count as their home. You’ll see how influential this work is as you read some of the statistics in this magazine, the sheer volume of people who have heard the message of Jesus through events organised by Christian sportspeople in these last few months (p6-7 and 26). And if you look at some of the people behind these figures you’ll find some remarkable stories. The work amongst young sportspeople in schools and universities is thrilling (p8-11). With sport being such a dominant cultural influence amongst young people in our country today, it remains critical to help young Christian sportspeople see the crucial part God has privileged them with in the sports world as they ‘Pray Play Say’ amongst their friends. Drill a little deeper still and read the article on Laura
19,000 Attend the 2012 Sports Quiz (p6-7)
Inner City Sports Outreach (p16-19)
27 Leaders trained from 23 nations (p22)
If you look at some of the people behind these figures you’ll find some remarkable stories. Wingfield Digby’s work in Hackney (p16-19) and see how the gospel crosses all boundaries when sport is the medium. It’s sensational!
Young sport people explore Jesus’ outrageous claims (p8-9)
The ‘Beautiful Feet’ also walk amongst our adult sports cultures. Christians in Sport’s Sport Networks (p20-21) cover a whole range of sports and are committed to helping adults come to know Jesus Christ and to grow in their faith as they engage with each other and with friends through their sporting skills and passions. We are privileged to partner with sportspeople not just in the UK but across the world and I hope that the little snapshot (p22) of some of our international training will be an encouragement that God is doing remarkable things across the globe, in and through sport.
Sport Network events helping gospel go out (p20-21)
Finally, for me, all these threads are drawn together in reading David Willson’s article, ‘A Message To The Church: Why Stop Now?’ (p12-13). We feel that the Olympics have changed the Church’s appreciation of the role of sport in our society and the importance of Christians engaging with the sports culture, so that Christ is made more widely known in this huge aspect of life. Indeed, the primary hope we have is that as you read this magazine you might say to yourself ‘Can I, and can anyone else in my church and sports club, use our ‘beautiful feet’ to bring ‘good news’ to our little corner of the country?’ Thanks for sticking with us in this great vision!
A Message To The Church: Why Stop Now? (p12-13)
Danno (Graham Daniels), General Director of Christians in Sport, Cambridge University Press FC, St Andrew The Great, Cambridge.
19,000 Attend the 2012 Sports Quiz
Over 650 churches requested a 2012 Sports Quiz between March and September this year, giving sportspeople in their congregations the opportunity to invite their friends to an Olympic-themed sports quiz with a half time gospel talk. The Christians in Sport speaking team delivered over 80 live sports quizzes across the UK, and the anticipated excess demand was met by resourcing churches with a ‘DIY-style’ 2012 Sports Quiz DVD pack.
No one is just a number, but sometimes it’s encouraging to take a breath after a busy period and look back at the incredible way God has been working in so many lives.
As you take a look at a few highlights below, please pray for churches as they follow up with the many who have said they would like to find out more about Jesus Christ through special services and explore courses. Pray also for Christians who invited their friends, that God would give them boldness and wisdom as they continue to share their faith.
The Stats (Based on a survey completed in September 2012 by 124 churches, c. 20% of all churches that requested the 2012 Sports Quiz)
568 churches received the 2012 Sports Quiz DVD resource pack.
On average 50 people attended each quiz, 46% of whom were guests of church members.
The Christians in Sport speaking team spoke live at 80 quizzes.
An estimated 8,700 people who do not follow Christ heard the gospel.
‘We had a good evening - very much enjoyed by everyone and the feedback consistently positive. We had 94 guests attend, around 60% were friends of church members, 20 of whom have asked for more information about the church and/or Christianity. It’s a great resource for a local church and served us excellently.’
‘It was a great night and my friends and colleagues were pleasantly surprised at how non-cringe and easy it was to spend an evening in a church! Thank God that seeds have been planted.’ Marina Johnson, member at St Michael’s Church, Chester Square
Rev Alex Harris, Minister at Sandon Road Baptist Church and Beacon International Centre
h Church, Ne
Jesmond Paris St Luke’s Church, Wat
‘One group (who had a thoroughly good time) consisted mainly of men who had never accepted an invitation to anything Christian before. The friends who’d invited them were delighted and came back to say how grateful and happy they were!’ Susan Hall, Cell Pastor for Mission at Acomb Baptist Church, York
‘There was a good atmosphere, and people enjoyed the variety in the quiz, commenting weeks afterwards how much they enjoyed it.’ Dave Aarons, Youth Pastor at Paulsgrove Baptist Church, Portsmouth
‘One person started coming to church as a result.’ Captain Jonathan Hamilton at Bootle Salvation Army
‘The gospel talk (One Giant Leap) was excellent. We have held many quizzes and small events over the last fourteen years, and used those events to invite people to Alpha or ‘special’ church services, for example, but this was probably the most direct ‘we’ have been at sharing the gospel.’ Rosemary Taylor-Mew, member at St Paul’s C of E Church, South Harrow
‘6 guys from my hockey team came along which was really good.’ een
Deeside Christian Fellowship, Aberd
Joel Evans, member at Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen
Read how the 2012 Games Chaplaincy Team got on this summer. Andrew Wingfield Digby, Vicar at St Andrew’s Church, Oxford, and founder of Christians in Sport, led a team of international Christian chaplains at the 2012 Games. The team were on hand to encourage and pray with those in the village, lead Bible studies, cope with any pastoral crises and hold daily services and prayer meetings in the chapel. Read his weekly reports from the Olympic Village online at christiansinsport.org.uk/wingersupdate.
Enjoyed the 2012 Sports Quiz? Turn to page 23 for information on the new Sports Quiz.
young Around a thousand young people and leaders attended Sports Plus this summer, Christians in Sport’s six residential sports camps held across the UK. The vision of Sports Plus is that the unchanging good news of Jesus is taught in a relevant way to those who don’t yet know Him, whilst building up young Christians to go and represent Jesus in their sports clubs and teams. Over the last 15 years, Sports Plus has undoubtedly had an enormous effect on the lives of thousands of young people, parents and leaders. Nick Alexander, Church Leader at St Peter in Eastgate, Lincoln, shares how Sports Plus has impacted the lives of his own children as well as young sportspeople in his church. ‘Sports Plus (and Christians in Sport in general) has had a massive impact on the lives of my two children. Henry, my eldest, has attended Sports Plus every year since the age of 11 and after doing the Academy has now gone on to be CU president at his college in Manchester and doing great things there. I am certain that both Sports Plus and the Academy have been key to his Christian development. For my youngest, Barney, Sports Plus is the highlight of his year, he loves it and Sports Plus Xtra was great for him too. He is already planning to do the Academy even though it is four years away! We are very thankful for the leaders and staff that continue to be such great role models for our boys, and who have modelled to them so well how to live as Christian men. Having lead at Sports Plus since 2003, when I came to Lincoln six years ago, I was determined to ‘bring’ Christians in Sport with me as nothing was going on here. It’s been a slow but growing work since first setting up the Lincoln Youth Pray Play Say Group and there are now 20 young people attending regularly from three main churches around Lincoln, nine of whom went to Sports Plus in Repton this summer. It’s great to see and hear Church leaders starting to see the benefit of the discipleship their young sportspeople are getting at Sports Plus and in the Pray Play Say Group. 8.
Nick Alexander, back row second from the left
#sportsplus2012 BEST OF YOUR #SPORTSPLUS2012 TWEETS… @JosRhys I’ve been challenged and encouraged in so many different ways by @ CIS_UK Sports Plus Brecon 2 #theraceoflife @Tillyjohnson1 @CIS_UK buzzing after #sportsplus2012 #brecon1 ready to get out there!!!
Download video resources from Sports Plus 2012 Outrageous. A challenging series of six filmed talks aimed at 11-18 year olds, looking at the claims of Jesus Christ in John’s gospel. Accompanied by six theme videos. Also available in audio.
The Race of Life. An
@DannoCiS @CIS_UK #sportsplus2012 Brecon underway watching Bolt win whilst hearing that even he’s not the One and Only. #gospel #king #Jesus
inspirational series of five short films following the lives of Danny, Gemma and Struan, three young Christian athletes, as they share what motivates them to compete for God.
@ian_duke @CIS_UK So excited to deliver tonight’s study! Praying the young people will see Jesus’s outrageous love! #sportsplus2012 #brecon1
Scan the QR code to watch these video series on the Christians in Sport App. Also available on youtube and the Christians in Sport website.
@hethlewis Great day @CIS_UK #sportsplus212 training! Challenged, encouraged, thrilled! Great 2 catch up with old friends and meet new 1s #unitedinchrist @DavidWi16139984 The claims of Jesus, the actions of Jesus, the demonstration of love from Jesus – outrageous! #sportsplus2012 @JennyDickson1@CIS_UK unreal week at Armagh. Team challenge champions! Throw off all that hinders and fix your eyes on Jesus #sportsplus2012 #teambrazil @Kenny_Crawford terrific week at Sports Plus camp in Perth with @CIS_UK draws to a close. Hebrews 12 v 1-3. Onwards. @Bairdy2 @CIS_UK #sportsplus2012 Highlight of my year! One of the best weeks ever! #superfijichampions! Follow @CIS_UK and start sharing your
Scan the QR code or visit christiansinsport.org.uk/ sportsplus2013 to check out the Sports Plus 2013 promo video plus confirmed dates, venues and prices.
Over 18? Never are you too old for Sports Plus! If you’re too old to come as a young person, would you consider coming to coach, lead a team or be part of the support staff? Visit christiansinsport.org.uk/sportsplus2013leaders for details on important roles you could play next summer and training schemes for young people looking to step into leading, coaching or a support staff role.
Bookings open online for young people and leaders on Monday 7th January 2013.
What support is there for young sportspeople outside of Sports Plus?
Youth Pray Play Say Groups. Monthly gatherings of young sportspeople at 20 schools and churches across the UK. A chance for secondary school age pupils to play sport and study the Bible together. Find the nearest group to you by visiting christiansinsport.org.uk/groups.
Sports Plus Xtra. Residential and day camps across the UK for those aged 14-18 who want to represent Jesus in their sports club. Action packed days of sport, team challenge and time studying the Bible. Check out christiansinsport.org.uk/youth for dates of the next camp near you.
Team Talk. A monthly email encouraging young people to keep representing Christ in their sports club through a short commentary on a Bible passage and news of resources and events coming up. To sign up to Team Talk email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academy. A six month gap year programme for young adults (18-19 year olds) who are serious about representing Christ and sharing the good news of Jesus in their sports clubs. For information or to apply online for Academy 2014 visit christiansinsport.org.uk/academy.
Schools Work. The opportunities to work alongside schools to help raise awareness of the value of sport and the Christian faith has been growing steadily over the last 10 years. For more information on how Christians in Sport can support your school, from lunch debates and assemblies to week long missions, visit christiansinsport.org.uk/schools.
Young Performance Athletes. Support and guidance for young people (and their parents) competing in â€˜performance sportâ€™ to help them grow in Christ and represent Him in their intense world of sport. For more information please contact the office on email@example.com.
University students reaching the world of
sport for Christ
University Pray Play Say Groups are student-led sports mission teams that operate at the heart of university and college campuses. With the support of their local churches, the 40 groups across the UK are helping to make Christ known amongst the 4,712 sports teams that compete in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) leagues.
Meetings to equip and encourage George Ratcliffe (Sheffield Hallam Hockey Club, Fulwood Church), leader of a new group at Sheffield Hallam University, is one of over 400 Christians in sport that meet together weekly in universities across the UK. He says, ‘Pray Play Say Groups are a great way to start a Wednesday, fixing your eyes on God, thinking about what He has done for us, and practically how we should respond to that within our sports team, in terms of how we should play and how we can talk to our teammates about Christ.’
says, ‘I made sure my friends knew that the sports quiz was a Christian event when I invited them and because they were aware of this, it sparked off a debate about the existence of God even before the event. During the quiz all of them got really involved and listened to the clear message of the gospel. After the talk we discussed the idea that human nature is fallen and how sport is one way in which human sin is clearly displayed. I was encouraged because from this one event I’ve been able to share my faith with them and one of my friends told me she can’t wait for the next one’.
Invitations to guest events Increasingly in union with the local church, groups host events such as sports quizzes and tournaments to help Christians in sport share the gospel and to provoke day to day ‘God’ conversations between friends. Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle, hosted a sports quiz in October for Christian sportspeople (including members of the Newcastle University Pray Play Say Group) to invite their friends to. 130 people attended the quiz and it was encouraging to see Christians in sport, like Sophie Cassidy (Primrose Squash Club, Heworth Christian Fellowship) a member of the Newcastle University Pray Play Say Group, accompanied by many sports friends. She
Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle Sports Quiz
To find out if there is a University Pray Play Say Group at your university visit christiansinsport.org.uk/groups.
A message to the Church…
Why stop now?
‘This is one moment in our lives for this generation to reach people for God. It is a God moment that people and churches must not miss – a once in a lifetime opportunity to minister to locals and people from all over, from the perspective of sports ministry – sport is going to be a major tool to reach the masses – the man in the street.’ Dave Willson (More Than Gold UK CEO, the agency set up to help churches make the most of the 2012 Games) speaking to back pages in 2009. Three years on and figures recently released reveal that the contribution made by UK churches to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were ‘the largest ever’. 12.
The scale of church involvement included over 13,000 hours of voluntary service to travellers. This came from a team of 300 Games Pastors at ten major rail stations, two airports, a coach station and key tourist sites. They offered help and comfort for everything from a lost contact lens to someone considering taking their own life. Meanwhile, family members of athletes enjoyed more than 2,000 nights of free hospitality. This involved 160 hosts welcoming 280 guests from more than 20 countries. The athletes supported won a total of 45 medals, including 8 golds. However, the largest statistic released is an estimated 500,000 people attended the community events run by churches. These included big screen festivals for the opening and closing ceremonies, family fun days, sports quizzes and sport-based
children’s clubs. This number was far greater than anticipated. South Buckinghamshire churches had expected 2,500 for their Run the Race festival but around 6,500 turned up. Isle of Dogs’ churches planned a festival for 500, with 4,000 turning up.
purchased and distributed, people praying, and Games Pastors and Chaplains deployed across at airports, stations and Olympic venues. But must it all stop now the Games have gone? The team at More Than Gold hope not.
Reflecting back over the summer, David Willson shared his delight, ‘This is by far the largest contribution from churches to any Olympics. Thousands of Christians stepped up to the mark, working together to engage with their communities and welcome visitors to a level never seen at any previous Games’. He continued, ‘This has been
As the Olympic Park is closed and passed onto a legacy company to create a park for the future, so More Than Gold is to be closed down and the legacy is to be passed onto Christians in Sport to build a sports ministry landscape for the future. Having worked with the team at Christians in Sport for nearly twenty years both in the UK and
more than great news for the Olympics, travellers and athlete family members. It has also been a very positive experience for the churches themselves. Many have been seen in a new light by their communities, have a new sense of confidence and are experiencing more people taking an interest in what they offer.’
overseas, I can’t think of a better organisation that is better suited to carry the More Than Gold flame in to the future.’
But as the Olympic hype dies down, what now for the UK churches engagement with sport? Dave Willson asks ‘why stop now?’. ‘Over the past few months we have seen thousands of churches across the UK engage in major sporting event outreach in a variety of ways around the Torch Relay, Olympics and Paralympics. We have seen unprecedented numbers of big screen sports festivals, sports quiz nights, athlete family members hosted, sports resources
In the new year there will be exciting news of plans on their way to help churches like yours be part of other major sports events such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and 2015 Rugby World Cup, as well as resources to help you reach out through sport and to disciple your sportspeople already stuck into local sports clubs. Don’t want to miss out on the news? Simply send a blank email to signup@ christiansinsport.org.uk to start receiving monthly bulletins to your inbox.
New training event sees hundreds inspired to share Christ in sport In itâ€™s first two months, Clubhouse, a series of one off evening events taking place in cities across the UK, has seen over 400 Christians in sport encouraged and equipped to share their faith in their clubs. Gathered from over 107 churches, the popular evenings are proving to be a valuable time for
Christians in sport (new and old) to meet and pray together, be encouraged from the Bible and to practice how to share the gospel with friends they play sport with. It is hoped that Clubhouse will provoke and inspire a generation of sportspeople in churches across the UK to get out into the sports world, a relatively untouched people group populated by over 14 million, with the good news of Jesus.
Clubhouse Sheffield at Christ Church Fulwood
Clubhouse Edinburgh at St Catherineâ€™s Argyle Church
Clubhouse Oxford at UCCF Headquarters, Blue Boar House
Clubhouse Belfast at Holywood Baptist Church
14.00. 2011 www.christiansinsport.org.uk.
What you have to say about Clubhouse…
Will you join the Clubhouse Challenge?
‘It was great to come together with local Christian sportspeople to encourage, pray for and sharpen one another in the task of being witnesses for Jesus. It was particularly helpful to have some very practical training on how to speak about Christ to those who need to hear and believe the good news’. Richard Leadbeater, Tennis player, Assistant Minister, St Stephen’s Church, Selly Park
‘Clubhouse immediately engaged and challenged me to see sport as my mission field. The videos and short prayer time encouraged me to pray, play, say.’ Vicky Russell, Kidlington Running Club, St Andrew’s Church, Oxford
‘I found renewed motivation through the talks, videos and fellowship as well as encouragement that fellow Christians in sport face the same challenges but also share the same goals.’ Tom Harris, Oxford Hockey Club, Headington Baptist Church
‘I thought the event was valuable in thinking through how to share the glorious gospel with people in my team. It was also a great opportunity to chat and pray with others throwing the same shaped ball!’ Phil Swinburne, Bournvile Rugby Club, Community Outreach Worker, Helier Chapel, Birmingham
Will you pray for a friend in sport, give them a gospel and invite them to read it with you? At Clubhouse, hundreds of Christians in sport have been challenged to do just that, with the aid of Luke’s gospel in ‘Uncover’, a fantastic new resource from UCCF. Will you join them? If every Christian in sport were to do so, we would see 7,000 sportspeople being given an opportunity to read a gospel with a Christian friend. Order your Uncover gospel from http://www.uccf.org.uk/uncover today. Let us know how you get on with the Clubhouse Challenge by sharing your stories with others on facebook by searching ‘Christians in Sport’. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet up with other Christian sportspeople in your area. Visit christiansinsport.org.uk/clubhouse.
Scan this QR code or visit the Christians in Sport youtube Channel to watch ‘The World of Sport: Will you go?’ – a short video on why the sports world needs Jesus.
Inner City Sports
Outreach Frampton Park Baptist Church sits smack bang in the middle of Hackney’s second biggest council estate and two short tube stops away from the Olympic Park. Youth Worker Laura Wingfield Digby met up with back pages to talk about the great things she’s seeing God do through her church, and especially in reaching out to young people through sport. bp Hi Wingers. So having grown up in affluent North Oxford, what lead you to work in Hackney? lwd I’ve always loved engaging with diverse communities and Hackney is certainly diverse, but God has also been working in my heart for years to work in full time youth and community ministry in 16.
inner city UK with all the challenges and excitement of that. I think a lot of it came from the privilege of having quite a few overseas mission opportunities from when I was 16. I was loving what we were doing out there, especially through sport, but at the same time often thinking ‘what is the equivalent back at home?’. I started to get involved in community outreach in Cuttleslowe (a council estate in North Oxford where I later lived before moving to Hackney) and also when I was 16 spent a week in Salford with Soul Survivor, and God just captured my heart for gospel work in that context. That week I remember going to an Andy Hawthorn talk on evangelism and it was like a second giving of my life to Christ. I remember it so clearly, on my knees, weeping and saying to God ‘use me wherever you want’ and I felt God was really pulling me to the broken and lost, especially youth. Although I’m aware that I come from a different background to many who I am working with, God
has shown me that actually I just need to be me and trust that He can use me. Really getting to know the young people well and their experiences of growing up in Hackney has been invaluable too, they are the ones that drive what we do and they know what works and what doesn’t, so it’s about building relationships and working with them. bp Lets talk sport. Why and how are Frampton Park Baptist Church using sport to outreach to young people on the estate? lwd Having been involved with Christians in Sport (Laura grew up going to Sports Plus where she now leads and speaks, lead her University Pray Play Say Group, did the Christians in Sport Internship before working on the staff team and is now representing Christ at East London Hockey Club) plus having exposure to sports ministries overseas and the different ways sport is used to take the gospel to people, has made it just feel like a no brainer that sport is a really effective means of reaching out to young people. The church has partnered closely with Ambassadors in Sport for the last four years through its football programme and we have developed this model of outreach further in the past year. The approach looks quite similar to that of CSF (Christian Sports Fellowship, a sports ministry based in India) and many others no doubt. We just start playing sport to connect with young people and provide opportunities for them to get involved in a team. In those relationships we seek
to share the gospel with them and invite them to church on Sundays and mid-week bible study discipleship groups and monthly youth services. Many of the young people in Frampton and the local area are wired and gifted as talented sportspeople and although they are increasingly getting the opportunities they need through school and football scouts etc., a lot of them haven’t got parents who can afford or have the time to get them involved in clubs. So we run a multi-sports group, a girls group, a Friday night youth club and three football teams for free. All of these are run unashamedly from and by the church which has provided many opportunities in itself. Frampton is made up of many diverse people from the local community who love Jesus and have developed strong relationships and committed to sharing the gospel and life in the estate for many years. It has been a privilege to join them and see God use me with my specific interest and skills in sports ministry and work with vulnerable young people (Laura has an MA in applied anthropology and youth and community work). Partnership has been really important in developing our outreach, not compromising on our desire to share the gospel, but seeking partnerships with the local council, police, local charities and the secondary school on the estate has really helped to get to know the young people. The headmaster was really pro to getting the Christians in Sport team in for a day to run PE/RE classes when I suggested it to him. And so in November just gone we got to share .17
the gospel to about 400 kids there through lessons, which was incredible, and for me, as someone who is going to be there more long term, it was great to get my face in front of the students and staff. bp Being so close to the Olympics, how did the church make the most of it being on the doorstep? lwd From quite early on after I came to Hackney last September, a few of us from church started talking about what we could do and we started to build a two week programme. At the end of June we did a community festival, it was a sort of launch to the summer, so we all had t-shirts that said ‘More Than Gold’ on and on the back it had the whole summer programme outline, we had a DJ outside the church and we put on sport. The team (volunteers from the church) got really stuck in and it was brilliant because everyone that wasn’t already involved, when they got there and saw what was happening they suddenly wanted to grab a T-shirt and help. A large amount of it has been empowering more church members, especially the youth, to realise that it’s quite easy to engage with the community if we work together on it. And then when it came to the summer, the ESLS guys (15 international sports ministry leaders that had been training at the European Sports Leadership School in Bicester for a month previous), come down and they were amazing, brilliant, I’m so thankful they came. We literally piled them into this small flat at the top of our church; 15 were sleeping in a 2 bedroom flat. They had been living in the flush houses of Bicester and then I was putting them on blow up mattresses 6 in a room! For them there was that buzz of the Olympics and the excitement that they were really in inner city London and they were out of their comfort zone big time.
About 90 – 130 young people came to the first week of the programme, which was a youth week and they would just rock up every day and be there from 9.30am till 6pm. So we did mornings of sports coaching like at Sports Plus, although we had to be more flexible in this context. We had use of a big area of grass close by and two sports cages in the estate with our sports hall and we moved all the chairs out of the church to set up a badminton court and table tennis. We did short talks/discussions over water breaks on Hebrews 12 1-3 in the sports coaching and after sport, church members took it in turns to cook lunch. We had about 160 for the sit down lunches where we watched the Christians in Sport Hebrews 12 1-3 videos, played games or did a few rounds of the quiz and I spoke for about 7-8 minutes on ‘The Race of Life’; sometimes with someone sharing their testimony. The afternoons involved more sport and watching of the Olympics live on big screen as well as different music and dance workshops. We also decided from the second day of the youth week to run an informal ‘grill a Christian’ in the lounge in the church and invited any of the young people who had questions to come along; about 25 did each day. There are now at least 10 young people from that week who are new regular members of our church and part of weekly Bible studies; God was clearly using stuff. I am really reminded as I think about it that verse in Isaiah ‘As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’ We were able to share God’s word and put it out there every day and even though some days I was like ‘ahhh’ to God, it can’t not have some effect.
Anyway we then ran that youth week straight into a community festival where we did a ‘Frampton’s Got Talent’ show and loads of the young people performed songs and raps that they had worked on at the youth week. And loads of people were rapping about how God is ‘More Than Gold. After the community festival, ah it’s so exciting to talk about it, I’m so thankful to God, we ran then a holiday club for about 70 kids. About 35 of the young people who had been coming along to the youth week and some of the footballers from the estate (who have now been coming to church and are Christians and are just amazing, I mean they are changing our estate!), they ended up helping lead the holiday club with a team from YWAM. bp And have you seen any impact on the estate since the summer? lwd The children and young people now nearly make up half the congregation of our church, we have around 80 of them on a Sunday morning, and some of the older boys who have become Christians are really changing the culture amongst the estate, it’s slow but it’s changing. Its great to see more young people attending our sports group with a short gospel story each week and we have set up a new under 14s football team, along with our under 16s and over 16s. The other day we were talking in the mid-week Bible study about a passage from 1 Peter and God giving us gifts and abilities to help us stand firm in Christ and how we can use these gifts to bless and help others. It was interesting, many of them have gifts in sport and since the summer I don’t hear so much things like ‘I want to be a professional footballer’ (not a bad thing in itself), but rather the young people are now saying ‘I want to use my football to glorify God’, ‘I want to use it to share
Christ’. They now want to use their sport to reach out. They are amazing young people, it’s such a privilege to know them and see what God is doing in their lives and how they encourage and bless each other. Even now, everyone is still talking about how knowing God is ‘More Than Gold’ and wanting to run the race of life talked about in Hebrews 12 1-3. I always think ‘More Than Gold’ is a bit of a cheesy phrase but people get it, and in Hackney its all about the bling, the label and being a pro footballer or the next Labyrinth and actually its like people now think being part of this community and a part of a place of love, grace and acceptance is ‘More Than Gold.’ There are a lot of negative stereotypes around about young people, especially living on council estates, and so it has been really exciting seeing the positive change from these happening around us. In fact, many others, adults and families from the community have started to attend church activities and services since the summer because of the change and excitement they see happening amongst the youth! For example a Muslim friend of mine from the estate had seen such a positive change in one boy that has recently become a Christian, that she asked me what had happened to him. I was able to say to her ‘it’s Jesus, Jesus has changed his life and he has become a Christian.’ It really has been amazing seeing God at work and we are sure more and more is to come. It’s been so great having different people from CIS involved at points over the year because it certainly feels at times that ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few’ (Matthew 9:37) But we trust the one who is undoubtedly the Lord of it.
For more information on what Frampton Park Baptist Church are up to visit framptonpark.org.uk.
events helping the gospel go out
If you’ve ever been involved in more than one sport, you’ll know that each comes with it’s own unique culture, it’s own challenges to battle and own opportunities to share the gospel. Sport Networks run sport-specific guest events for Christian sportspeople from the same sport to bring their friends to. Here is just a snapshot of five Sport Network events that took place this summer.
Beeston Hockey Sixes
Intro to Real Tennis
Twenty20 Cricket Match
In August, ‘Christians in Sport Hockey’ entered a team into the annual Beeston Hockey Sixes festival in Nottingham and a mixed tournament in Rickmansworth. Lisa Smith (Beeston HC, Beeston Community Church) bought 12 friends from her hockey club. ‘What I valued most about the two events was that my friends came into contact with other Christians who love Jesus and whose faith impacted every area of their life including their hockey, and that they got to hear a talk explaining the Christian faith. I also found it really encouraging being around other Christians who share my heart to reach their teammates. Moving forward, I’ll definitely keep inviting friends to future events.’
July saw ‘Christians in Sport Tennis’ host their first ‘Dialogue Dinner’, when 12 players, 9 of whom were guests, met at the Cambridge Real Tennis Club for an introductory coaching session, followed by two players sharing their testimonies over food. Martin Brooke (Fulbourn Tennis Club, The Round Church at St Andrew the Great, Cambridge) says ‘Praise God that it was a great evening we were still there after 10.30pm chatting and laughing. One big encouragement – three came along to the Sports Dinner at our church last month. Praying that all the guests come to the Tennis Master’s event in December and that we continue to love and witness to our friends.’
‘Christians in Sport Rugby’ hosted it’s forth annual Twenty20 cricket match in May, with 20 guys, a mix of Christians in sport and their teammates, showing up to unleash their cricketing prowess. Keith Mcilwaine (Ards Rugby FC, Hamilton Road Baptist Church) commented, ‘The game finished with a steak BBQ, a few awards and then a challenge from God’s word by Freddie McClaughlin. He teased out the questions of ‘Where am I? How am I? Who am I?’, explaining that we are lost without God and can be found through Jesus Christ.’
For more information on Sport Networks visit christiansinsport.org.uk/sportnetworks
Inviting friends to an evangelistic event is never easy, but when the opportunity came up for Lottie Sellars (Durham University, Bethshan Church) to invite her teammates to the Women’s Six Nations Finals event in May, the fact that she hadn’t yet met her new team didn’t stop her.
Heineken Cup Weekend 45 rugby players, including 19 guests, headed to London to watch the Heineken Cup live at Twickenham in May. The group took part in the ‘legendary’ annual England/Wales v Northern Ireland/Scotland match, heard a testimony from a ‘Christians in Sport Rugby’ player over lunch and to conclude the weekend went to a local church in London. Dave Hampton (Stewart’s Melville FP RFC, Carrubbers Christian Centre) reflected, ‘It was great to see how the world of rugby and the Christian faith can match up and that faith in Jesus as a rugby player is not weird, but relevant and true.’
‘Before I met my new team, I emailed the captain plugging the event. She came back really keen and the week before the event, at my first training session, I was able to talk to her and the team about being a Christian. It was really well received and we had great discussions about it, talking about their previous experiences with church. When it came to the big day, two girls came along from my new team and two from my old university team. Just travelling to the final with my new teammates gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better and again, it was great hearing their views and experiences of Christianity. The match itself was fantastic, the first half seemed scarily close but England showed their true form in the second half to go on to win the match and grand slam. After the match, over a good pint of Guinness, I had a great catch up with my university
To join your Sport Network visit christiansinsport.org.uk/sportnetworks
rugby mates, and in talking about my job working in a church last year, the conversation turned to faith in God and it was really encouraging to see one of the girls becoming more interested. On the whole, it was a fantastic evangelistic event. It gave me the chance for many meaningful conversations, seeds to be planted and relationships to grow. Overcoming my nerves about inviting my unknown new team really paid off and reminded me the importance of trusting it to God. I think sometimes we can all get too hung up about offending people or worrying about what people think of us, but at the end of the day it’s potentially their salvation at stake. Although sometimes hard to swallow, this is what stirred and moved me to take the leap and invite a team I hadn’t met before. I’d recommend any rugby girl to plug this kind of event at their team, the more the merrier. Ruck on! Praise God!’
mission, Graham Daniels (General Director) and Kate Randle, of the Christians in Sport staff team, flew out to deliver training at the school, which aimed to equip and resource leaders to lead sports mission back in their own countries. Kate shares her experience…
Christian sports leaders from as far apart as India, Mexico, Liberia, Ukraine and New Caledonia (you may need a map to locate the last one!) came together in Stellenbosch, South Africa, this summer for an intensive three month training school. As part of Christians in Sport’s on-going commitment to the development of global sports
‘This was my fifth year being involved at the school and my responsibilities have been pretty diverse. As well as helping with some of the training, this year I also ran the fitness and sports programme and co-ordinated the ‘Training of Trainers’, which helps equip the leaders to facilitate training when they return home. Graham delivered modules on how to handle the Bible and what the Bible has to say about sport and how we should play. I always find it a great privilege to hear about the lives of these men and women from so many nations. Many of them face huge challenges in countries where Christians are often marginalised or persecuted and receive little or no funding to do what they do. One young man from Zambia uses the money raised through farming to support his work, another West African trainee has set up a fruit juice company to support what he does.
I always find it a great privilege to hear about the lives of these men and women from so many nations. It’s also humbling to hear stories of God’s faithfulness in the midst of really tough circumstances. One young man, who had been brought up in a children’s home since the age of six and was first impacted by the gospel when a local pastor started to visit, now ministers to youngsters living in children’s homes, using sport to reach them with the message of the gospel. Do remember to pray for these men and women who have now returned home, that as they work in the midst of many challenges they would apply the lessons they learnt this summer.’
Kate Randle, Cirencester HC, Cirencester Baptist Church.
ENJOYED THE 2012 SPORTS QUIZ? Host the new, easier, guest friendlier, multi-sport, multi-media Sports Quiz!
‘We had a good evening - very much enjoyed by everyone…around 60% were friends of church members, 20 of whom have asked for more information about the church and/or Christianity. It’s a great resource for a local church and served us excellently.’ Rev Alex Harris, Minister at Sandon Road Baptist Church & Beacon International Centre
‘It was a great night and my friends and colleagues were pleasantly surprised at how non-cringe and easy it was to spend an evening in a church.’ Marina Johnson, St Michael’s Church, Chester Square
Request your free Sports Quiz pack or a speaker to host your event live at
What should I ‘pray’ about before a match? What does it look like to ‘play’ in a way that honours God? What should I ‘say’ about my faith to my friends? Scan the QR code and start working your way through these helpful ‘Pray Play Say’ Bible studies. Hard copies of the ‘Pray Play Say’ series can also be purchased online at christiansinsport.org.uk/shop.
Pray Play Say (Part 3) The newest in a series of three Bible study collections challenging sportspeople to think through what it means to represent Christ in their sports club. This group of 19 Bible studies, which can be worked through as a group or individually, explores how to play in a way that honours God, the importance of prayer and how to more confidently share the Christian message with friends in sport.
Issues include: • Dealing with nerves • When your identity becomes about performance • How to be committed to both a church and sports club • When sport becomes an idol • How to share the gospel with friends
Pray Play Say…. The Youth Way Action packed workbook containing ten studies designed to help the young Christian sports player represent Jesus in their world of sport.
Pray Play Say…. The Youth Way Part 2 An action packed workbook containing ten studies from the book of James to help the young Christian sports player live out their faith in their team or club. 24.
Pray Play Say (Part 1) 19 Bible studies looking at how sportspeople can represent Christ in their sports team or club. Issues include what should motivate Christians to play and how to answer tough questions about the Christian faith.
Pray Play Say (Part 2) 19 Bible studies looking at how sportspeople can represent Christ in their sports team or club. Issues include gossip and banter, injury and disappointment and the drinking culture.
Lanzarote 20 – 27th June 2013 Train. Play. Relax. Explore Invite your friends to the world’s no. 1 sports holiday resort this summer to play sport and explore Christianity.
Who’s the trip for? Christian sportspeople and their sports friends looking to find out more about the Christian faith. Minimum age 18.
Cost? £125 including 7 nights self-catered accommodation and use of over 25 world-class sports facilities plus tuition. Excludes flights. ‘Unending sport and a fantastic opportunity to share what it means to have a real faith in a really relaxed environment.’
Watch the Lanzarote 2013 promo video christiansinsport.org.uk/lanzarote2013
Love your sport? Hungry to know the Bible better? Passionate about reaching the world of sport for Christ? ...then check out Christians in Sport’s internal training programmes, combining valuable biblical training with a well-integrated programme of mission experience.
Internship 2013 - 2014
A six month training programme, designed for sportspeople aged 18 - 19 years who are serious about representing Christ and sharing the Good News of Jesus with their sporting friends.
A one year programme for graduate age applicants (although not necessarily having been through university), training future leaders to reach the world of sport for Christ. The Internship has trained 92 students to date, equipping them for the next stage of life and ministry.
Duration: January 2014 – July 2014 Deadline: March 2013
Duration: August 2013 – July 2014 Deadline: February 2013
For more information visit christiansinsport.org.uk/trainingschemes
WHAT WERE YOUR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SUMMER?
Wiggins winning the Tour de France, Super Saturday, the Paralympics, Murray winning the US Open or Europe bringing the Ryder Cup home? If the summer proves one thing, it’s that the UK is sport mad!
Is the gospel having an impact in this sport mad generation? Yes! We give thanks to God for how He is impacting the sports community today. Here are a few highlights from the last 12 months.
Sportspeople hearing the gospel
836 GUEST EVENTS WERE HOSTED, WHERE CHURCH MEMBERS INVITED THEIR FRIENDS TO HEAR THE GOSPEL
51,158 PEOPLE ATTENDED THESE EVENTS, 29,055 WERE FRIENDS OF CHURCH MEMBERS
Christians in sport being supported
00’s ATTEND PRAY PLAY SAY GROUPS IN UNIVERSITIES, SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
Leaders being developed
500 LEADERS WERE TRAINED IN THE UK PLUS 293 MORE WERE TRAINED FROM 50 COUNTRIES INTERNATIONALLY
OF TRAINING RESOURCES WERE DOWNLOADED ONLINE AND ON THE NEW APP
STUDENTS GRADUATED FROM THE INTERNSHIP AND ACADEMY
So now what?
Can you support the work?
When we add the fact that over 5,000 churches engaged with the 2012 Games, we feel that there is a real change in landscape as churches undoubtedly are thinking differently about sport.
We want to serve churches and their sportspeople as they reach out to the sports world with the unstoppable message of the gospel.
With the excitement of many more major sports events coming to the UK in the next seven years, plus the fact that sport will continue to impact every mission minded church - from players, coaches and administrators in the pew, to the sports clubs around the corner - we think it’s safe to say that sport will remain a significant driver of culture for years to come.
Please will you prayerfully consider supporting the ‘Brick by Brick’ campaign to create a stronger foundation of regular donors to help us plan for the future. Could you commit to a brick or two of £5 a month? If so, please complete and return the tear off slip or if you prefer donate online at christiansinsport.org.uk/donate.
YES, I’D LIKE TO GIVE A BRICK
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Sportspeople hearing the gospel
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Christians in sport being supported
Leaders being developed
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Christians in Sport Frampton House, Unit D1 Telford Road Industrial Estate Bicester, OX26 4LD T: 01869 255 630 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: christiansinsport.org.uk