This could be the dumbest, most heretical idea ever. Or....
Think about it. Americans are obsessed with sports. The Super Bowl is the most watched television event each year. We spend lots of money to exercise, be in sports leagues, go to the gym, and to watch sporting events.
And there are several faith based organizations intentionally mingling sports and God's message together, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Churches themselves have sport ministries (Softball leagues, Upward sports, etc). So, what if a local church was built around the concept of sports only?
Most church growth experts would say a local church cannot target an entire community. You have to target a certain demographic of that community. If you try to target everyone, then the theory is that you will attract no one. Some churches target those who have a specific need (i.e. we're the church focused on....family or recovery or missions or sound biblical doctrine or community groups or passionate worship). Obviously, you want to help anyone. But, in reality, you have to pick a few key demographics and try to make the most impact you can with the resources you have.
So....what if there was a Sports Church? Not a sports ministry, but a sports church.
Target Market: People who loves sports. In other words, men. And men already attend church in a smaller percentage than women. So, the need to focus on men is there.
It wouldn't be glorifying sports. It would be using sports to glorify God. Obviously, you could still have sports leagues and themes.
Talking about David and Bathsheba? - pull up a real sports story of disloyalty to a spouse.
Talking about gifts? - share real sports stories of those who have used and misused their gifts.
Talking about sacrifice? - share an athlete who gave all they had for a bigger cause.
Talking about money? - What is more embedded in sports than money?
Talking about teamwork, unity, finishing the race, etc. Those are easy.
You would still teach heavy on the Bible. You would simply be making connections with an audience that is familiar with sports, thus bridging the gap of disconnect that can occur with those who do not know Christ or are not used to being in church. A key part of ministering the gospel is speaking a language others understand and creating a sense of urgency for those who are missing something in their life. Sports Church could accomplish this.
Would this idea get old or tiresome over time? Probably....or maybe not.
I know this could also mean there could be a video game church or a food church. Or, dare I say it, a Pinterest church. I guess this could be in the other half of the Sports church for the wives!
This post is a part of my 2013 Lent back to blogging decision. To see my other posts click here