More than 30 sports and youth ministries are teaming up with local churches, radio broadcasters, and publishers for evangelistic outreach during the Summer Olympics, which begin July 25 in Barcelona.
The effort is being coordinated by the International Sports Coalition (ISC), a consortium formed in 1986 to unify and enhance the work of worldwide sports and evangelistic ministries. Its 23-member committee includes representatives from organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Kenya Sports Evangelism, as well as pastors from American churches.
While previous Olympic outreaches have focused on evangelizing visitors, the two-week Barcelona campaign is geared more to spurring church growth and planting. Organizations will work alongside Barcelona’s 50 to 60 evangelical churches. The city of 3 million people holds Spain’s largest evangelical population, some 5,000 to 6,000.
“The partnerships provide a unified effort to Christian outreach within cities,” says Lowrie McCown, executive director of ISC. “It is less likely to happen without a mega-event like the Olympics.”
At the same time, efforts will also be made to reach the 450,000 spectators expected for the games, utilizing everything from radio broadcasting and special literature to mimes and singing in the streets. Two-hour radio broadcasts will feature the testimonies of committed Christian Olympians, such as decathlete David Johnson and basketball star David Robinson, mixed with current scores and reports from the events. The programs will be broadcast globally by World by 2000, a coalition of four international stations. Highlights will be distributed in the U.S. via satellite by Radio Bible Class and aired on Moody Broadcasting Network.
“There is a lot of cooperation ...1
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