National Sports Sunday
Warren Evans, Chief Executive of Sports Chaplaincy UK writes:
As Christians, we know that prayer has the power to change things.
However, what could be the impact of the whole church praying for the community of sport on a particular day?
The community of sport has approximately 30 million members, spreading over 151,000 sports clubs and 6,700 gyms across the UK. That is a massive mission opportunity for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own locality.
Last year, we took a punt at Sports Chaplaincy UK to call a day to prayer and celebrate with our chaplains what God is doing and challenging people to go further. It was amazing to hear stories of chaplains from across the different streams and churches rising up.
That's why we decided we need to establish something for the long term for the whole church. Since then, we have been talking to Church Leaders, sporting ministries and others to see how we can commit to praying intentionally for the community of sport in every church in the land.
National Sports Sunday is about seeking God for what He might have you do, say and pray for this growing community. The doors for Christians to engage in chaplaincy are wide open – sometimes, in ways I don’t think we have recognised, but that is not the only response.
This is why I'm putting out a call for you to see how you can use your interest in sport and passion for prayer and tie them together.
We need chaplains, but more importantly we need Christians to engage intentionally and actively. I’ve said before, if your child is involved in a local sports club, why not simply offer the prayer ‘God wherever you are at work today, please help me to join in?’
If you’re a Pastor, have you thought about not just going to the gym, but pastorally and sensitively offering to pray for the staff and trainers?
I believe this is not a one off, but that National Sports Sunday should become a regular day in the church calendar for us to pray for the community of sport.
We are delighted that the Coptic Archbishop of London and one of the CTE Presidents has written a special prayer for this year's National Sports Sunday and I want to end with that, as something you might pray in your church in a couple of weeks time.
We thank You for the gifts You constantly give us and first and foremost, the gift of Your Spirit within us that strives and yearns for fellowship.
We give thanks for all those who provide opportunities for our fellowship through the various sporting activities that are available, and that become, for so many, a source of support in their daily journey, knowing that they do not journey alone but amongst friends and companions.
We give thanks, at a time of great uncertainty through our Nations, that we are still able to gather across all lines and experience the fellowship that is provided through these various experiences and events.
We ask your blessings upon those who partake, that You may grant them the spirit of graciousness and sportsmanship, and that they may be reminded of the true and ultimate goal, of not only winning the game but of being in fellowship and journeying to Your Kingdom, and that in doing so they become a light and an example to all those witnessing their good works.
To find out more, please visit our website: www.nationalsportssunday.org.uk
Sports Chaplaincy UK is a body in Association of CTE