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Sports and Your Church

We in ministry leadership need to consider how to partner with parents to deliberately shape the character of the young athletes around us.

Sports receive too little attention from churches. Some use sports as outreach, such as organized leagues or Super Bowl outreach parties—although the ads and halftime wardrobe malfunctions create awkward moments. Others occasionally ask athletes to share a message. Hearing Mike Singletary talk about fatherhood made me want to do my best as a dad.

But actually teaching on the overall topic—sports—rarely happens. A surprise, given the magnitude of attention sports command in today's society. In children's and youth ministry, sports often earn a reputation as the competition. Sunday soccer leagues erode attendance, right?

Here's the problem: people of all ages experience character formation through competing in sports. So what kind of character do they acquire? And from whom?

Yes, parents own the primary role to guide young athletes. The church can play a role too. Actually, the church should play a role. As a former children's ministry director, I speak from experience when ...

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