Category Archives: Resources

“The Soul of Football” – Book

The Soul of Football Book by Mark Chester

 

Soul of Football

Cloning Jamie Carragher

Lionel Messi’s mistakes

It’s all Wayne Rooney’s fault

Find out more about The Soul of Football http://ow.ly/GnSSz

Read a sample chapter http://bit.ly/1EZitOK

“This book gets beyond the surface of football, and reminds us that we need to get beyond the surface of life, too.”
Revd John K. Boyers, Chaplain, Manchester United

Buy a copy of ‘The Soul of Football’ on BRFonline http://www.brfonline.org.uk/9781841016542/

BRF, 15 The Chambers, Vineyard, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3FE, England

Dir: 07967 688 610 Fax: 01865 319701

‘Clubhouse’ Events for all

Are you a Christian involved in sport?
Do you play, coach or officiate?
Are you keen to reach your community through sport?
Clubhouse is an evening for you and others from across your city who are passionate about reaching the world of sport for Christ.

PLAYERS & ATHLETES // COACHES // OFFICIALS
CHURCH LEADERS & WORKERS // PARENTS // TEACHERS
YOUTH (16+) // STUDENTS // ADULTS

To checkout the locations and dates visit:
christiansinsport.org.uk/clubhouse

Book Cheraser’s Journey- Football to Faith

The journey to faith through a Christian based football club.

Cheraser’s Journey is a fictional book, written by Paul Dakin, about a spiritual searcher who becomes a Christian through contact with a church based football club. It follows his journey to faith as he is challenged by the example he sees from his Christian team mates. But his own addictions and the difficulty he finds relating to Church culture means it is not an easy path. The book can be found at www.lulu.com or a direct link to the three available formats can be found at http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=cheraser%27s+journey

Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cherasers-Journey/163716623725421

Paul Dakin book cover

CCPAS (The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service)

Ensuring effective safeguarding during Sports Activities

Note from Sports Ministries UK:  There are few, if any, issues that should be of more concern to sports clubs than the protection and welfare of the children in their care. To do a good job in this area is essential for all sports clubs – especially for those which have a distinctively Christian character. We are fortunate that CCPAS has developed expertise in helping sports clubs make sure that they are doing a good job and that they are meeting all the relevant requirements. CCPAS is a Christian organisation, with much experience of advising churches and organisations including sports groups and clubs. It is fully aware of all the latest child protection legislation and regulations.

The attachment below has been written by Simon Bass, Chief Executive Officer at CCPAS. If you require any further information about child protection, or would like help developing  policies and procedures for your sports ministry, then please contact CCPAS on 0845 120 4550 or info@ccpas.co.uk.  For more information about CCPAS, see www.ccpas.co.uk.

CPAS Sports Website copy

Christian messages on Sports Clothing

Sports Clothing from www.inyerfaith.co.uk

Spread the word and let others initiate conversations through what you are wearing.

eg. “Going the extra mile”, “Feed the 5K”, “Which Way?” & others.

Procedures to purchase Sports slogan branded clothing on line are below. There are options to choose standard cotton garments or sporty 100% polyester items. Sweats, T-shirts, Vests etc are available.

The logos can be put on the front and back if required.

Add in your Church or team name or logo as required.

Ordering procedure:

  1. Go onto www.inyerfaith.co.uk
  2. Click on “Create your own” – The Design Studio programme will then load, this can take a few seconds
  3. Click on the “Product tab”
  4. Choose the item of clothing you would like from the “All Products” category or click on the little black down arrow and then on the “Sportswear” line to bring up the 100% Polyester t-shirts and vests that are available if preferred.
  5. Choose the size of the item you would like.
  6. Choose the quantity of the item, the default is 1
  7. Click on the “Artwork” tab.
  8. Then select a category via the little black down arrow – choose “sports”.
  9. Click on the design that you like, that will put it onto the clothing that you have chosen and show the location

10. Click on the back view of the item if you would like a design on the back too. This doubles the promotion! Click on the same or a different design.

11. Click on Add to Cart and follow the instructions to pay for the item/s

If you have any problems please

i)          Make contact with InYerFaith directly on 08451 800 831

ii)         Contact Mark Blythe (UK Sports Ministries Website Co-ordinator) if the problem isn’t resolved

Mark_T_Shirts  Mark_T_Shirts
Mark_T_Shirts

Mark_T_Shirts

 

Cross the Line – Football

Cross the Line

www.xtheline.co.uk

Here at Cross The Line, we are a bunch of faith driven ’20-something’ writers, reporting hot off the press football news making Jesus known!

Our website includes a number of features, including generic football articles as well as a “faith and football” section where we give our readers a chance to read football stories with a different light. We look to combine the latest football news with the Christian faith; giving you a chance to relate everyday stories in the world of football with Christian beliefs.

We also have a podcast where Ollie Baines leads the latest discussion on all things faith and football. More recently, we have added a “player interview” feature, where Cross The Line chats to a number of professional Christian footballers. Plus we offer a testimonies section where people can send in their stories of how they experienced God through football.  We would love for you to get involved –

please Follow us on Twitter @crossthelinex_

please Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cross-The-Line/319850071508603?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

or, email us at crosstheline321@gmail.com

Engage 2015 – Rugby World Cup

Engage_options_3

Engage 2015 is a cross denominational campaign set up to help UK churches  serve  the rugby community during the World Cup event in October 2015. We have no official status within Rugby World Cup 2015.

Our aim is to help UK’s churches demonstrate God’s love by serving the World Cup 2015, and the rugby community during it, to the fullest possible extent.

Our approach is that Engage 2015 should be centrally resourced and locally delivered. Thus, our role is to;

Provide churches with inspiration, information and resources

To build relationships between the church & the rugby community

The World Cup – the third largest international sports event – comes to the UK during September/October 2015.

It will involve:

  • 20 national squads from across the globe – including all the home nations
  • 48 games and 50 training centres spread – from Newcastle to Exeter, and Cardiff to Brighton
  • 400,000 visitors from over 100 nations
  • Wall to wall media coverage

This presents every church with another great opportunity to serve the event and share God’s love.

It happened during the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee.

Now we can do it again

Offering during the world cup:

  • chaplaincy to teams
  • youth and children’s events
  • festivals
  • family hosting
  • guest events
  • sports quizes
  • games pastors
  • volunteering

For more information, please email info@engage2015.co.uk

Website: www.engage2015.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Engage2015

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Engage2015

 

Football – Screenings

Football – Screenings
Watching big football matches presents churches with an opportunity to reach out to the local community and particularly to men.

If you plan to have a big screen event at church then these are the key
things you need to know.

• The church needs a TV licence
• No admission charge is allowed however you can ask for donations
for food etc.
If this is all too much and you are not aiming at a big crowd here are a
couple of alternatives.
• Invite some men to your home to watch the match and share
refreshments!
• Team up with a local pub which will be showing the match and provide
free food or snacks.

Football – The Beautiful Game Resource

tbg-cover

Love God? Love football? Then don’t miss the exciting football magazine from New Life Publishing that’s perfect for football outreach.

 Packed with interviews and testimonies from current and ex-footballers including big names like Kaka, Ferdinand, Defoe, Hernandez, Sturridge and many more, The Beautiful Game is a magazine not to be missed.

The Beautiful Game is a great evangelistic resource that can be given to football fans of all ages.

 

tbg-spread1

 Check out our great new site to find out more about The Beautiful Game and other inspiring Christian titles.

Simply click this link: www.newlifepublishing.co.uk

email: info@newlife.co.uk

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Football Book – Transformed

“Transformed” by Linvoy Primus (Portsmouth, Charlton, Barnet, Reading)

Linvoy Primus was 26 when he moved to Portsmouth FC, a club struggling in the second tier of English football. He had previously been playing out his career in the lower leagues for Charlton, Barnet and Reading, with his footballing and personal life unfulfilled as he struggled with a crippling lack of self belief that had been fuelled by rejection,

mistrust and disillusionment.

Linvoy’s fortunes were to be changed in a remarkable way when he decided to commit to Christianity. This book tells the story of how he believes his faith in God transformed his life and performances such that he played a key role in Portsmouth’s triumphant ascent to the top level of the English game and went on to become a top Premiership footballer, scooping a host of awards from the fans along the way.

Off the field he has become a popular figure in the community with his tireless work for the disadvantaged youngsters through his charity ‘Faith and Football’, and he also tells the stories of his own fascinating overseas missions to help vulnerable children in Nigeria and India.

This is a compelling story of Linvoy’s own remarkable conversion and his subsequent life as a Christian footballer in the Premiership.  This enjoyable and readable book, which will also appeal to non-football lovers, is highly recommended.

The book can be ordered from the following address:

Faith and Football, Pompey Study Centre, Unit 2, Anson Road, Portsmouth PO4 8TB

Orders, with the name and address included, should be accompanied by a cheque made payable to ‘Faith and Football’ for £9.99


Quote:

“If you love football then you will really enjoy reading about the real life of a professional footballer at the highest level. The way players are treated by clubs, the insecurities around having contracts extended or ended, being told you can leave to go to another club when you don’t really want to – maybe it’s not all as glamorous as it seems from the outside? But then there is the playing against Rooney, Ronaldo and in the best stadiums in the country in front of thousands. Linvoy explains his feelings through all those situations and also shares how he came to faith and how this helped him throughout his professional career. It’s a great read.” – Mark Blythe

Linvoy Primus Promotions [www.linvoyprimus.com]

Football Ministry Resource

Football Ministry Book: Mark Blythe of Sportsforce has written a book about how to run a Church Football team, the pitfalls to avoid!

The book aims to help churches that run football teams for outreach. It is based on the experiences Mark Blythe has had heading up the Molesey Community Church football outreach for over 10 years. Every mistake has been made from forgetting water bottles in the summer, to leaving the kit behind, to not confirming a game and the opposition not being there having travelled to their pitch! To learn from these mistakes and more, pick up a copy from www.veriteshop.co.uk (or call 01903 241975) for just £10.

Sections on evangelism ideas and Football Association requirements are a must for all Christian team managers whether just starting out or an experienced football warrior for Christ.

Title “FOOTBALL 2 FOOTBALL MINISTRY 3″ ie Football is good but footy ministry is even better!

Contact Mark on mark@mccfc.org.uk

Football Ministry Training

Ambassadors Football stage training days for folks interested in learning more about Football Ministry.  We would also love experienced football ministry practitioners to come and share their secrets and mistakes with others so we can all learn from each other!

For more info contact Steve Read on sread@ambassadorsfootball.org

The last training day was  at the Soccerdome by the O2 in London. Six different football ministries based in the UK shared their experiences and knowledge and the feedback was very positive. Dan Owen from Ambassadors Football shared about the new Community Cage Franchise project that helps Churches connect with local youths especially; Chris Roe, Crystal Palace Chaplain shared some insights into Chaplaincy in the professional game; Tom Rutter from Kick London taught on youth academies; Steve Miles from Christians in Sport shared about supporting Professionals in the game with their faith; Mark Blythe shared 20 years of experience running Church teams and leagues; Linvoy Primus shared about playing in the Premier League for Portsmouth and how he is now called to share the Gospel; James Jaggard of 90+ Ministries spoke about the academy work in the north west and putting football coaches into local schools and churches and highly qualified John Squires of Ambassadors took a coaching session on the pitch with delegates joining in as they wanted to. An amazing day of football ministry.

Contact Steve for more information about the next event sread@ambassadorsfootball.org

Print

Gambling in Sport

It seems that we can gamble on just about every sport these days and not just the final result of the games any more. Many high profile sportsmen have fallen to the temptation of gambling and become addicted and others have even taken bribes to allow others to cheat whilst gambling.

Checkout  GAMserve to see what help is available.

www.gamserve.org.uk

Our mission is to provoke CHANGE that will benefit anyone that might be vulnerable to gambling addiction, no matter what their spiritual beliefs may be.

Gambling addiction can be devastating for the gambler, their families and the victims of gambling related crime.

GAMserve is not a campaign against gambling, it is a call to action for Christian’s everywhere to recognise that gambling addiction is a hidden problem that they and society must not ignore.

Global Congress on Sports & Christianity

In light of the dramatic increase in academic research activity and practical initiatives on the topic of sports and Christianity over the last decade, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John University (YSJU), York, UK are hosting an Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity (IGCSC), 24-28th August, 2016. The Bible Society and YSJU are collaborating in the development and delivery of this global event.

Keynote Speakers include academics, practitioners, clergy and athletes, for example: Professors Stanley Hauerwas, Shirl Hoffman, Michael Novak, Graham Daniels (Director of Christians in Sport), Bishop James Jones and Anne-Wafula Strike MBE (paralympian).

York St John University campus is at the heart of the beautiful and historic city of York (see http://www.visityork.org/ ).

A part of the congress is a sport-themed service in York Minster, one of Europe’s finest cathedrals  (see http://www.yorkminster.org/home.html ). The Bishop of Leeds. Nick Baines will be delivering a sport-themed sermon.

The attached Pdf. Brochure and website provide further information on the congress: http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/health–life-sciences/faculty-of-hls/faculty-events/igcsc.aspx

If you are interested in receiving further information about this event, email the congress convener, Dr Nick J. Watson (igcsc2016@yorksj.ac.uk ), who will add you to an email-contact list.

Golf – Simple Outreach Activity

Golf – “Early Birdies” A simple regular outreach activity

Justyn Jackson – Chichester Baptist Church

The Aim: Our church is very much into organising regular events which we call “alternative gatherings”.  These range from sports events, country walks, craft, old peoples homes and mountain biking.  All are an attempt to engage with people who either cannot or prefer not to go to church.  

The Brief: I needed a golf format that was not too long, not too expensive and preferably where we could start and finish at the same time.

A Solution: Shotgun start the back nine holes early on a Sunday morning. This means that all groups start on a different hole at the same predetermined time and therefore all finish at about the same time.  Last week for example we had 12 players which I divided into 4 groups of 3.  We met at 6.45 am and one group walked to hole 10, one to hole 18, one to hole 16 and one to hole 15.  At 7 am each group teed off.  Traditionally a shotgun (hence the term shotgun start) or a hooter would sound to announce the start, but we don’t have a gun licence and it’s a bit early on a Sunday morning for loud noises! Once a group that started on the 15th, 16th or 18th hole finishes the 18th, they simply walk to the 10th hole and continue until all of the holes 10 -18 have been completed.

Club Benefit: I approached my golf club with the idea and they realised that it was a win win situation.  Empty course or people playing and paying? They charge us £15 for 9 holes, but suggest you negotiate what is appropriate for each course.  We tee off at 7am and are usually all done by 9.30am, this means that those who want to go on to church may do so.

Winners: We produce an order of merit table showing the ongoing scores and present a monthly trophy for the winner.

Attendees: Over 40 people have expressed a strong interest and we regularly attract about 10-12 players.

Message: We give a short thought for the day at the end at the prize giving. Everyone knows it is a Church run activity and it is a great way to meet new people on their turf whilst having fun.

Summary: We think the format works well, despite being early, and could be one that others could take to their local clubs.

Contact: For more information contact Justyn Jackson – Chichester Baptist Church Email: justynjackson@nhs.net

 

Golf – The National Church Cup

The 17th National Church Golf Cup is launched

In 2015 Christian Vision for Men (CVM) are joining with the Christian Golf Society (CGS) again to encourage more Churches than ever before to stage outreach Golf days in 2015.

The incentive for the winner of each Church’s Golf day is to represent them at a grand finals day to battle it out for the prestigious title of National Church Golf Champions. The final will be in August but Churches must register asap to reserve a place for their winners. Visit www.christiangolfsociety.org.uk to register online or print off a form.

Cup Co-ordinator Mark Blythe says: “Golf is a great sport for outreach, it’s a simple way to spend quality time with not-yet-believing  friends. Church Golf Days could be just a four-ball or a big event with a meal and speaker, we are called to do something and it doesn’t matter how large or small.”

Tips for first time organisers are available and Churches who already stage events can just register and send their winners to the grand final. Contact Mark Blythe if you have any questions on mark@mccfc.org.uk

Who will follow Walsall Community Church the 2014 Winners.

Banners Gate Community Church from the West Midlands (below) were the 2013 Champions

Presentation

Higher Sports

Higher sports horiz new

 

 

Higher Sports is a practical resource to equip any church in any country make a difference in its community with the life changing message of Jesus. The coaching module and the teaching packages are designed in such a way as to enable church personnel to run them without any external help.

Higher Sports is a 6-8 week course for churches and schools involving sports coaching and games together with Christian based teaching. The material for each of these three resources (rugby, football and games) allows for an hour of coaching followed by a ‘team talk’. The drills and coaching skills are clearly set out in the Higher Sports manuals with accompanying diagrams, teaching points and progressions. The implementation of these do not require the Coach to be qualified in the sport but rather to have an enthusiasm and enjoyment for working with young people in the sporting arena.

The resource bag contains all that is necessary to action the coaching and the teaching sessions and allows for Higher Sports to be presented in many forms:

  • As a course lasting several weeks culminating in an Awards Ceremony with a guest speaker from the sporting world
  • As a sports clinic week
  • Part of a summer camp programme
  • ​As the basis of Church’s Holiday Week programme
  • ​Integral part of a school’s Physical Education programme with provision to include delivery of key stage 2 values within the classroom environment
  • Inclusion in a school’s Religious Education programme with extended studies of the ‘team talk’ material

Contact Us:

9, Kepax Gardens, Worcester, England, WR3 7LB, United Kingdom.

Email: info@highersports.org
Office: +44 (0)1677 426347
Mobile: +44 (0)7711 572032

www.highersports.org


Kings Volunteer

Kings Volunteer is part of the Kings Foundation, a UK charity that believes that all children are loved and valued by God and that by helping children to reach their potential through sport and activity, we are doing God’s work.  Kings Volunteer aims to equip, enable and inspire local volunteers to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to be active, have fun and learn together. With a focus on benefitting disadvantaged and marginalized children and working through local partners, Kings Volunteer provides the training, resources and encouragement to enable organizations, churches and individuals to use sport and activity to enrich the lives of children and young people.

We understand that not all children will grow up to be sports stars, but we believe that all children can enjoy the benefits of participating in sport and activity. In addition, the Kings Volunteer approach can be a great vehicle for integrating health, education and Christian faith messages – bringing children, families and communities together and promoting an environment where children feel valued and encouraged to reach their potential.

The Kings Volunteer approach has three key components:

  • The Training we provide: Designed to be very simple and adaptable to any context, the training equips local volunteers with no previous experience to deliver fun, informative and inclusive activity sessions that children and young people really enjoy.
  • The Resources we share: The Base Pack is a carefully designed back-pack of sports resources that can be used to deliver a wide range of games and activities for all ages and abilities – meaning everyone can join in the fun, whatever their ability or affinity with sport.

The Community we build: With local volunteers and partners using the Base Packs in over 10 countries, across a wide range of contexts (from Uganda to Romania to Pakistan), we love to keep in touch with everyone – encouraging an exchange of ideas and promoting an international network of support.

The Base Pack is a great tool to enhance church outreach initiatives and also provides a very practical way for churches to support the work of other local actors. The possibilities are endless and the wonderful thing about the KV approach is that it is so flexible: it gives you the tools to design a programme that meets the needs of the local communities that you serve; integrating themes which are appropriate and relevant to the lives of the children and families that live there.

For more information please contact us at info@kingsvolunteer.org.

Medals & Trophies

Medals & Trophies – Brilliant to make your events that extra bit special and remain in the memory every time the winners see their medals and trophies. For tournaments, festivals and fun events.

The items below were created for the 2012 games with unique centres. The same can be created for your event.

Medals

Special Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals with the More Than Gold logo in the centre and matching Gold, Silver & Bronze lanyards with the medals.

Trophies


Any questions do contact by email Mark Blythe mark@mccfc.org.uk

By post to: Mark Blythe, 1 Merton Way, West Molesey, Surrey KT8 1PG

Sportsforce international – serving Churches through sport

www.sportsforceinternational.org

Nat Christian Veterans Football Cup

Nat Vets Cup Logo

An 11-a-side football competition for guys 35+.

For Church based teams across the country.

CUP HISTORY

Winners 2009 Yarm Vineyard Church, North Yorkshire

Winners 2010 Goldhill Baptist Church, Bucks

Winners 2011 & 2014 Stoneleigh Baptist Church, Surrey

Winners 2012 Molesey Community Church, Surrey

Winners 2013 New Life Croydon

Winners 2015 Cornerstone, Gloucs

For more details contact Mark Blythe on mark@mccfc.org.uk

Passion for Sport

Print

Passion for Sport exists to introduce sports fans to Jesus through media.  All around the world millions of people follow a team or sport passionately without ever taking part.  We know Liverpool fans in The Gambia, Arsenal fans in Kenya, Manchester United fans in Japan and even Cornwall, who have never been to watch their team play.  But that doesn’t reduce their passion or make them any less a fan.  Here at Passion for Sport we too are passionate about sport.  We love it.  Football, rugby, cricket, athletics, motor sport – you name it.  We are even more passionate about Jesus and are passionate about introducing sports fans to him.

We produce two weekly radio programmes featuring news, stories and interviews with sportsmen and women, many of whom are followers of Jesus who talk about their sport and faith.  Planet Sport is a 15-minute, multi-sport show heard on 50 stations in 16 countries.  Our analysts include former professional sportsmen including Brazilian Alex Ribeiro (Formula 1) and Tu Nu’uali’itia who played in two Rugby World Cups for Samoa, scoring a try against eventual winners South Africa in the 1995 quarter finals.  You can listen free on demand on line at www.planetsport.tv and via a phone app, search “Planet Sport” for both iPhone and Android devices.  Planet Sport Football Africa features news of football in Africa and African players around the world and is heard on over 30 stations in Africa.  This too is available free on demand at www.planetsport.tv.

We also report from major sporting events for our two radio programmes and provide a reporting service for Christian radio stations.  In 2008 we served over 1000 stations worldwide in six languages from the Olympic Games in Beijing.

We have an extensive online library of sports players’ testimonies.  Check out the Resources page on our supporters’ site at  www.passionforsport.com to hear sports stars talking about their sport and faith.  Interviews include Henry Olonga (cricket, Zimbabwe), Julian Speroni (football, Crystal Palace FC) and Nick Farr-Jones (rugby union, captain of Australia’s 1991 Rugby World Cup winning side).  We are also developing the www.planetsport.tv site for sports fans with pages focussing on different sport.  With background information, a brief history of the game, funny quotes, images and short testimonies in both print and audio this is a great resource to direct sports you know to, to help introduce them to Jesus: http://www.planetsport.tv/sports.html

For more information visit the two websites: www.passionforsport.com and www.planetsport.tv.

Runners @ parkruns

Chiltern Church Runners

Based in Sutton, South London, we are set up around parkrun (a 5km free event of which there are many around the country), our home run is at Roundshaw parkrun, but we also have regular runners at Banstead, and sometimes Nonsuch. Our membership is about 80% from our Church, and 20% ‘associate’ runners, non Church members who lend us their support.

We also run together on fortnightly Sunday night training runs, and enter local running events (Perch 10k, Sports Relief, SLH Informals, Beddington 10k and Hogsmill 5 for example).

We seek to be a visible, friendly presence, mixing a local Church community with the local running community in a gentle way. See what we look like on YouTube courtesy of a video of an event that features us quite heavily – just search Roundshaw parkrun.

We also seek to encourage other Churches to become involved at parkrun – to be ‘churchrunners’. The Selsdon Baptist Church Runners have set up at Lloyd parkrun, Croydon and the Good Shepherd Runners are at Nonsuch parkrun, Sutton following similar models to us. See also our ‘churchrun’ document in the Resources section

Contact us via runners@chilternchurch.org.uk

How to set up a Park Run Club

Churchrun – a how to guide to setting up a church based running club

Chiltern Church Runners – a working example

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Can you take church out to people?

Taps into an external organised event (parkrun – free timed 5k run every Saturday) with its own infrastructure, you can contribute to the running by adding volunteers – but you do not have to organise from scratch. We, and you, can be supporters of parkrun as well as users of it. All you need are a few ‘runners’.

There are three simple steps;

  1. E-mail the main parkrun site telling them you are a club, with a club name that includes the word Church, Christian, Baptist etcetera.  office@parkrun.com
  2. Get T-shirts with the club name and maybe a slogan on – be visible.
  3. If you can have a webpage (ideally on your church site), you can add this as a link to your club on the parkrun site. See an example – http://www.chilternchurch.org.uk/Groups/182529/Chiltern_Church/Community/C_O_Gs/Chiltern_Runners/Chiltern_Runners.aspx

In some ways it is that easy. Each runner can link themselves to the club, club membership is retroactive – so all your ‘old’ runs are credited to the club.

The idea is to be visible and offer a gentle (but clear) invitation – ‘we are here, ask about us if you want’.

You are advertising via t-shirts, club name in results list, and weblink to your running page on the church website. Most recently we have advertised the Christmas services on the parkrun website – one regular at our parkrun commented we had ‘earned the right’ to do so, as ‘it’s not as if we had just come along’, we were 9 months in to attending. You could do similar things, in due course.

Over 20% of our runners do not come to Chiltern, we call them ‘associate runners’ and it is my belief that nearly all of those people do not come to church at all. We also run other events, we have run under the Church name in events all over England. People will come and run in the name of a church, who would not necessarily want to come to church. I would note we have chosen to give them free t-shirts as a thank you for ‘advertising’ us.

What does success look like? People coming to church would be great, but making people more open to faith and less negative about church/faith is also a worthy goal. Certainly reducing people’s already negative views of church was as far as I believe one post race pub chat with two associate runners was ever going to go. Also we are growing, more church attendees are coming, and having the opportunity to ‘fly the flag’ for Chiltern in a way they otherwise would not. If you can get numbers, it certainly helps!

To make it work at least one person should be passionate, or at least enthusiastic about the activity. However it should be accessible to a broad range of people. On that note it can be valuable to recruit ‘non runners’, one lady in her fifties who had the bravery to come has lead to at least half a dozen more believing they can do it – she now has over 20 parkruns. The ‘non runner’ has become a runner.

Those that really cannot run have also contributed, prayer, childcare provision, and volunteering have supported our ministry – don’t turn anyone away if you can help it.

Getting people to do something new in their Christian life is good, getting non Christians involved is good, but also getting Christians to make something they already do part of their Christian life is good as well. You can certainly ‘run for Jesus’, you can be dazzled by the beauty of God’s creation on a run, you can worship, you can support your fellows, you can ponder, you can connect, and (trust me on this one) you really can pray – sometimes for the end of the race!

I don’t think you can rush it, or be heavy handed about it if it is to work. That does not mean you cannot be open, an event report we wrote on ‘faith or ability’, got picked up on a parkrun facebook page and is still referenced there.

In summary

The church after all (cliché time) is not the building, it’s the people. When two of our ‘associate members’ chat with a church member who is also a runner, or when one of the fitness group members who use the building decide to run for us they are meeting ‘church’, and in fact they end up meeting quite a lot of us! Make connections.

My point is almost not to run outreach events that ask people to come to a church building, but to harness events like parkrun  where people already reach out to those beyond the church and connect those events back, gently, to the people of the church as people of the church.

Questions and queries?

Just contact us on runners@chilternchurch.org.uk

Running Churches at parkruns

Many Churches have running groups that participate in the free weekly 5km parkruns that happen all across the country.

Runners GS Names close up

Churchrun – a how to guide to setting up a church based running club

Chiltern Church Runners – a working example

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Can you take church out to people?

Taps into an external organised event (parkrun – free timed 5k run every Saturday) with its own infrastructure, you can contribute to the running by adding volunteers – but you do not have to organise from scratch. We, and you, can be supporters of parkrun as well as users of it. All you need are a few ‘runners’.

There are three simple steps;

  1. E-mail the main parkrun site telling them you are a club, with a club name that includes the word Church, Christian, Baptist etcetera.  See  http://support.parkrun.com/entries/22032022-Can-I-register-my-running-club-with-parkrun-
  2. Get T-shirts (or ‘bibs’) with the club name and maybe a slogan on – be visible.
  3. If you can have a webpage (ideally on your church site), you can add this as a link to your club on the parkrun site.

In some ways it is that easy. Each runner can link themselves to the club, club membership is retroactive – so all your ‘old’ runs are credited to the club.

The idea is to be visible and offer a gentle (but clear) invitation – ‘we are here, ask about us if you want’.

You are advertising via t-shirts, club name in results list, and weblink to your running page on the church website. We have advertised the Christmas services on the parkrun website – one regular at our parkrun commented we had ‘earned the right’ to do so, as ‘it’s not as if we had just come along’, we were 9 months in to attending. You could do similar things, in due course.

Over 40% of our runners do not come to Chiltern, we call them ‘associate runners’ and it is my belief that nearly all of those people do not come to church at all. We also run other events, we have run under the Church name in events all over England. People will come and run in the name of a church, who would not necessarily want to come to church. I would note we have chosen to give them free t-shirts as a thank you for ‘advertising’ us.

Don’t want the expense of t shirts for all your runners? A new club has just used a ‘bib’ – print the name of your club twice on a sheet of A4 in large font (say Holy Trinity Church Wallington, for example) – reduce this down to 2 rectangles just under A5 size. Laminate and then cut in half, hole punch carefully in corners – you can now use safety pins to attach this club ‘bib’ it’s cheap, waterproof, and reusable. You can swith to t’s later, or not if you want.

What does success look like? People coming to church would be great, but making people more open to faith and less negative about church/faith is also a worthy goal. Certainly reducing people’s already negative views of church was as far as I believe one post race pub chat with two associate runners was ever going to go. Also we are growing, more church attendees are coming, and having the opportunity to ‘fly the flag’ for Chiltern in a way they otherwise would not. If you can get numbers, it certainly helps!

To make it work at least one person should be passionate, or at least enthusiastic about the activity. However it should be accessible to a broad range of people. On that note it can be valuable to recruit ‘non runners’, one lady in her fifties who had the bravery to come has lead to at least half a dozen more believing they can do it – she now has over 20 parkruns. The ‘non runner’ has become a runner.

Those that really cannot run have also contributed, prayer, childcare provision, and volunteering have supported our ministry – don’t turn anyone away if you can help it.

Getting people to do something new in their Christian life is good, getting non Christians involved is good, but also getting Christians to make something they already do part of their Christian life is good as well. You can certainly ‘run for Jesus’, you can be dazzled by the beauty of God’s creation on a run, you can worship, you can support your fellows, you can ponder, you can connect, and (trust me on this one) you really can pray – sometimes for the end of the race!

I don’t think you can rush it, or be heavy handed about it if it is to work. That does not mean you cannot be open, an event report we wrote on ‘faith or ability’, got picked up on a parkrun facebook page and is still referenced there.

In summary

The church after all (cliché time) is not the building, it’s the people. When two of our ‘associate members’ chat with a church member who is also a runner, or when one of the fitness group members who use the building decide to run for us they are meeting ‘church’, and in fact they end up meeting quite a lot of us! Make connections.

My point is almost not to run outreach events that ask people to come to a church building, but to harness events like parkrun  where people already reach out to those beyond the church and connect those events back, gently, to the people of the church as people of the church.

Questions and queries?

Just contact us on runners@chilternchurch.org.uk

Check out the list below and make contact with the people in the area near you if you would like to meet up with Christian runners and outreach groups.

Please email the website administrator Mark Blythe if you would like to be added to this list  – mark@mccfc.org.uk

1. Location: Croydon. Lloyd parkrun, Croydon, Surrey www.parkrun.org.uk/lloyd/

Church: Selsdon Baptist Church Runners www.selsdonbaptist.org.uk/sbcrunners.htm

Contact: Micky Wheeler micky@thewheelers.eclipse.co.uk or Julian Black julian_black@talk21.com

2. Location: Hampton Court/Teddington Surrey. Bushy parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk/bushy/

Church: Molesey Community Church & others

Team goodContact: Mark Blythe mark@mccfc.org.uk

3. Location: Croydon/Sutton. Roundshaw Downs parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk/roundshaw/

Church: Chiltern Church

Contact: Tim Gray runners@chilternchurch.org.uk.

4. Location: Cheam, Surrey. Nonsuch parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk/nonsuch/

Church: The Church of the Good Shepherd, Carshalton, Surrey www.goodshepherdcarshalton.org/good-shepherd-runners/

Contact: Jason Hudson jasondhudson@hotmail.com

Runners GS team 2

 

 

Sport & Christianity Books

There has never been a time when so much is being written about sport and Christianity.  2012 saw the publication of three major books:

Sports and Christianity (Historical and Contemporary Perspectives), Nick J Watson and Andrew Parker, New York, Routledge, 2012

Catholic perspectives on sports (From medieval to modern times), Patrick Kelly, New York / Mahwah, NJ Paulist Press, 2012

Sport and Christianity (A sign of the times in the light of faith), Edited by Kevin Lixey, L.C., Christoph Hubenthal, Dietmar Mieth, and Norbert Muller Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press, 2012

As well as those there were two journals which devoted an entire issue to sport:

Studies in Christian Ethics, Volume 25, Number 1, February 2012

Practical Theology, Volume 5.2, 2012.

In addition two major books are expected to be published later this year or early next year:

The Games People Play: theology, religion and sport, Robert Ellis, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock,

Brief Theology of Sport, Lincoln Harvey, London: SCM Press, forthcoming

See reviews of the top three at http://www.veritesport.org

Sports Books

See reviews of 200 sports and sports ministry books at

http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews

New books at   http://www.veritesport.org/?page=Newreview

Click link for reviews

The three new sports books Stuart Weir would recommend  most highly are

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=rugger&brid=198>Jonny

My Autobiography, Jonny Wilkinson, London, Headline, 2011

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=othersport&brid=190>Who was Hurricane Higgins?

Tony Francis, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 2011

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviewbytitle&byt=a&brid=185>A life too short

(The tragedy of Robert Enke, Ronald Reng, London, Yellow Jersey, 2011

My Olympic book recommendation is

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=OG&brid=183>The 100 greatest Olympians and Paralympians

Nick Callow, London, Carlton, 2011. ISBN 978-1-84732-701-7

If you are looking for books with a Christian angle

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviewbytitle&byt=s&brid=187>Sports Theology

(Playing Inside Out), Greg S. Smith, Indianapolis, Dog Ear Publishing, 2010

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviewbytitle&byt=b&brid=188>Beyond the Gold

Bryan Mason, Milton Keynes, Authentic, 2011.

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviewbytitle&byt=k&brid=194>Keeping faith in the team

The chaplain’s story, Stuart Wood, London, Darton. Longman and Todd, 2011

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=hist&brid=192>The Inspirational William McGregor

Peter Lupson and John Lerwill, Birmingham, A & J L Solutions, 2011

Stocking fillers – Books I Like!

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=spother&brid=193>Sport in “quotes”

Lewes, Ammonite Press, 2011

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=othersport&brid=196>Usain Bolt

The story of the World’s fastest man, Steven Downes, Sports Books, Cheltenham 2011

You must know someone who would like..

<http://www.veritesport.org/?page=bookreviews&brcat=cricx&brid=173> Duckworth Lewis: The Method and the men behind it

Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, Cheltenham, SportsBooks, 2011. ISBN

9781907534004

ALL BOOKS REVIEWED BY SPORTS MINISTRY SPECIALIST AND JOURNALIST STUART WEIR

stuart@veritesport.org

http://www.veritesport.org

Sports Chaplaincy Courses

RE: Sports Chaplaincy at the University of Gloucestershire

You may be aware that in recent years the University of Gloucestershire has introduced a suite of ‘distance learning’ postgraduate modules and courses in sports chaplaincy comprising the following pathways: Postgraduate Certificate in Sports Chaplaincy, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Chaplaincy, and MA in Sports Chaplaincy.

The fourth cohort of students are now entering their final months of study and the University is beginning to recruit for the 2015-2016 academic year. For those who may be interested in applying for any of the above course pathways (to begin September/October 2015) please note that the closing date for applications is Friday 31st August 2015.

To apply, please go to the course web site (see link below) and click on the tab in the right hand margin headed ‘Apply Now’: http://www.glos.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/scc/pages/sport-and-christian-outreach-sports-chaplaincy-postgraduate-certificate-postgraduate-diploma-ma.aspx

There are a number of tuition-fee bursaries available for the 2015-2016 academic year and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you experience any difficulties with the applications process and/or would like to chat further about the various courses that we have on offer, then please feel free to contact me directly either by e-mail (aparker@glos.ac.uk) or by telephone (07920 210333).

Professor Andrew Parker, Faculty of Applied Sciences

University of Gloucestershire

Oxstalls Campus, Oxstalls Lane, Gloucester GL2 9HW

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 715387

E-mail: aparker@glos.ac.uk

Sports Ministry Book

Beyond the Gold

What every Church needs to know about Sports Ministry.

Beyond the Gold contains a wealth of practical suggestions for ways in which the local church can effectively use sports ministry to share the good news of Jesus. Written by Bryan Mason.

Available online at www.morethangoldresources.org.uk

Heaps of really useful tips and experience and a snip at £7.99!

Sports Ministry Book – Sports Theology (Playing Inside Out)

Sports Theology (Playing Inside Out), Greg S. Smith, Indianapolis, Dog Ear Publishing, 2010. ISBN: 978-160844-3-338

Review by Stuart Weir (Verite Sport Email:stuart@veritesport.org)

This is an outstanding book – one of the best I have read for years. It makes a serious contribution to understanding sport from a Christian perspective. It has 176 pages in ten chapters.

An early quote sets the scene: “Christian athletes have personal value, not from their own accomplishments, but because God loves them so much that he sacrificed his only Son”. The result is that “The Christian athlete is free from the need of temporal approval or the accolades from individual performance. Spiritually, these athletes are satisfied by God’s love and have plenty to give to the team”.

The author states: “The premise of this book is that Christianity can help athletic performance”. Don’t react negatively to that statement. It is as far as it can be from any sense of “God made me win”. What he is saying is rather that a Christian athlete who understands that his significance is not based on their performance in the game is free to compete without stress.

A good example of how he argues against any kind of performance driven identity is: “Athletes who allow their performance to ‘mean everything’ are setting themselves up to perform out of fear. Christian athletes, on the other hand, know that their value does not come from performance. They know that God loves them unconditionally and that their value is demonstrated by the sacrifice of Christ on their behalf. They perform to glorify their value, not earn it”. And again “Christian athletes are motivated to glorify God through performance; they are not forced (driven) to perform”.

In the UK there has been a concern among sports coaches that a player who becomes a Christian will lose his motivation. Smith nails that one too: “It would be a mistake to think that Christian athletes perform with less determination because they are pursuing spiritual fulfilment”.

He uses the example of a golfer standing over a three-foot put, arguing that a three-foot putt is mechanically no more difficult if it is to win a tournament than in a practice round. It is rather that the pressure of what it means makes it seem harder. This is where the Christian has an extra dimension: “The Christian athlete plays with a sense of peace and contentment that does not rely on the outcome of a putt or any other play or shot. They are complete and fulfilled through God’s love no matter the outcome”.

We may be familiar with the concept of playing for an audience of one. Smith takes this a stage further as we are invited to understand that “Christian athletes do not just perform knowing that God is watching them; they perform with the Holy Spirit in them”.

To sum up the thesis of the book is that for the Christian athlete:

Winning is not about coming in first but rather is about competing as a representative of Christ:

Playing with the right sports theology allows athletes to see performance for what it really is and therefore allows them to play the game;

Sports theology enables athletes to understand that they are created in God’s image, which changes their view of themselves, performance and life.

This review does not do justice to the book. Get it and read it!

Sports Ministry Resources

Christian Venues: Looking for a venue to take a small or large group for a fun team building day or a residential experience? Carroty Wood (Kent), Frontier Centre (Northants), Whithaugh Park (Scottish Borders) are run by Christian outdoor activity charity RockUK and they offer many activities or  a great facility for you to do your own stuff. Contact www.rockuk.org

Resources for Church Football Leagues: Mark Blythe has held every position whilst serving the longest running church football league in the country (the Southern Area Christian Football League – www.sacfl.co.uk): Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Fixtures Secretary, Information Secretary, Disciplinary Committee member, Results Secretary, Prayer Co-ordinator, Awards Night Organiser, Cup Final Organiser, Procedures writer…. If you need help starting or running a Church League do make contact. Email: mark@mccfc.org.uk

Christians in Sport offer a wide range of resources, books, tapes etc. Check out the website www.christiansinsport.org.uk

The Inspirational William McGregor

The Inspirational William McGregor, by Peter Lupson and John Lerwill, Birmingham, A & J L Solutions, 2011

The book whose subtitle is Father of The Football League and all football leagues, tells the story of the contribution to the development of Association Football of William McGregor (1846-1911).

Review by Stuart Weir (Verite Sport):

McGregor was a Scot who came to Birmingham where he opened a drapery business. Amazingly he had no background in football but was soon arranging the opening hours of his shop to fit kick-off times!

He became a committee member at Aston Villa and eventually the chairman. As Villa chairman he wrote a letter to other top clubs, noting: “Every year it is becoming more and more difficult for football clubs of any standing to meet their friendly engagements and even arrange friendly matches. The consequence is that at the last moment, through Cup-tie interference, clubs are compelled to take on teams who will not attract the public”.

He then proposed that “ten or twelve of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home and away fixtures each season…This combination might be known as the Association Football Union”.

The first games in the new Football League took place on 8 Sepember 1888. He became the first chairman of the Football League.

McGregor was a committed Christian, involved in the Congregational Church in Wheeler Street for over 40 years. At his funeral service the Reverend W. G. Percival, said that he had always found McGregor to be “a man of absolutely unblemished personal character, and one who had always been a kind and generous supporter of the work of the church.” The best thing about him “was not so much the genial, kindly, honest sportsman, but it was the Christian behind it all.”

One example of his integrity was his stand against sham-amateurism which led to the introduction of professional football in a legal and above-board way.

We owe a great debt to the authors for researching and publishing the story of this fine Christian pioneer of the Football League.

Note: Peter Lupson has also written Thank God for Football and

Thank God for Football, The Illustrated Companion

Verite Sport

Verite Sport www.veritesport.org

Verite Sport exists to encourage a Christian presence in sport. It was founded in 2006 by Stuart Weir who remains the only employee. Stuart was a director of Christians in Sport (1990-2006) and has served in the leadership of the International Sports Coalition and the European Christian Sports Union. The work of Verite sport has three main aspects:
Supporting professionals as they seek to represent Christ in the world of professional sport.
Adding 10% to international sports ministry projects. There are currently projects in Argentina, Togo, Congo, Ukraine and Pakistan.
Producing resources on sport and Christianity.
Stuart is a prolific writer, having written 10 books on aspects of sport and faith, which have been translated into several languages. He also writes a weekly sports email and contributes sport and faith articles to The-Times-on-line. Much of this is downloadable from the Verite Sport website.