Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Some Resources

Yesterday I stumbled across the website of Athletes in Action. This organisation is a ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). As such the site in general has a lot of resources specific for their ministry goal: "Striving to see Christ-followers on every team, every sport, every nation, BY using the platform of sports so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus."

Matt Holiday
After browsing through their ministry specific resources I found their News page which I really enjoyed. I don't know how often they update it. It seems to me that they mostly feature interviews and editorials rather than reflecting current events, but I appreciated the articles they had posted.

Since I'm a Cardinals fan, I particularly liked this article on Matt Holiday. Although I appreciate the way he plays, I had no idea he was so involved in sharing his faith.

As I read the article it mentioned several other resources and conferences that connect sports and faith. I thought the readers of this blog might like to check these out also. So here's the list.

  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes - In my experience this is probably the best known sports-faith organisation as they have a presence on my high schools across the United States. Their ministry also extends beyond the U.S and beyond high school sports. Their website has a lot of excellent resources on it. (Coincidentally, their website currently features this excellent profile of St. Louis manager Mike Matheny.)
  • Pro Athletes Outreach - This ministry is run by professional athletes to equip and serve other professional athletes. They do this by hosting off season conferences for both professional baseball and football players. According to their website they also host a lot of workshops for Christian college and high school coaches around the U.S.
  • The Increase - This media site is a ministry of Pro Athletes Outreach and contains a series of [currently] 24 videos featuring a wide variety of athletes discussing their faith. This site provides an excellent resource for anyone looking for discussion starters in a youth sports or men's ministry context. Oh, and it happens to feature this excellent video by Cardinals star Adam Wainwright.
  • Unlimited Potential Inc. - This is another organisation of former professional baseball players. The group ministers to current players and even has 3 MLB team chaplains on its staff. They also have a strong sense of mission as they use baseball to spread the Gospel message around the globe. Their website states that they, "Work alongside global missionaries to organize and lead international missions trips for players and their wives."
  • Baseball Chapel - "Baseball Chapel is an international ministry recognized by Major and Minor League Baseball and is responsible for the appointment and oversight of all team chapel leaders (over 500 throughout professional baseball)." Their website includes daily devotionals as well as other helpful resources.
  • Beyond the Ultimate - When Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith made it to the NFL’s Super Bowl they wanted to take advantage of the platform to share their faith, thus the Beyond The Ultimate Web site was formed. It is now ministry of Athletes in Action and features mostly testimonies from a wide range of athletes.
  • Sports Spectrum -  Sports Spectrum magazine seeks to highlight Christian athletes of all sports and levels to help motivate, encourage and inspire people in their faith through the exciting and challenging world of sports. Of all  the resources listed here Sports Spectrum seems to have the most articles related to current events. You can subscribe to the full website for just $2 per month.
Some of these sites contain more information that others. I hope that this list may be helpful for you and give you a glimpse into the way Christians express and share their faith in the cauldron that is professional sports.

If you know other faith-sports organisations or helpful web resources please leave the link in the comment section.

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