Sports Friends seeks to be a servant resource to Christian leaders in the development of effective, church-centered, youth-focused sports ministries. Sports Friends is a ministry of the multi-national, interdenominational mission, SIM. As such, we affirm SIM's purpose, core values, and statement of faith (reference www.sim.org)
• STIMULATE A VISION for local churches and church planters to use sports as a powerful ministry tool.
• TRAIN CHRISTIAN LEADERS to develop fruitful church-centered sports ministries.
• EQUIP COACHES for effective service by providing ongoing support and encouragement to help them live, lead, minister, and coach for the glory of God.
• DEVELOP LEADERSHIP CAPACITY of sports ministry coordinators, who will provide vision, guidance, and management of the local sports ministry movement and develop coaches at the local church level.
A powerful connection exists between coaches and their players; godly coaches demonstrating His love can impact the lives of youth for eternity. Sports provide a natural environment for discussing character issues and life lessons—self-control, respect for authority, honesty, teamwork, commitment, etc.—and these conversations often transition to the truths of the Bible. Team-based ministry is an ongoing, relational ministry, and we believe that sustainable, local church ministry is the foundation for relational evangelism and discipleship.
Sports ministry initiatives in the local church can take many different forms such as pick-up play, tournaments, competitive teams, or league play. They can use a variety of sports but still have a common focus: to see youth and their families grow into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Camping is a critical element of the overall Sports Friends mission and a natural complement of church-centered sports ministry. During Sports Friends’ camps, many young people encounter the love and good news of Jesus, through crafts, dramas, games, and the relationships they build with camp staff and their coach who accompanies them. As the Holy Spirit works in their hearts, whether at camp or with their coach back home, many young people respond in faith to Christ, changing their lives as well as the lives of their families and communities.
CHURCH FOCUS. We serve and partner with the Church, believing that God’s primary means of relating to and transforming the world is His Church.
CHURCH-PLANTING & MISSIONS. We train and equip local churches, church planters, and missionaries to cross barriers and proclaim the gospel through sports.
RELATIONAL DISCIPLE MAKING. We believe that sports provide natural opportunities to build relationships and make disciples of Jesus in a non-threatening environment.
ONGOING MINISTRY. We encourage churches to develop ongoing and sustainable ministries, rather than event orientated outreach.
GRASSROOTS. We focus primarily on sports at the recreational level; for those who want to play, improve their skills, and have fun.
MULTI-SPORT. We train local church leaders to use whatever sports are appropriate in their culture and context.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. We are committed to identifying, training, and building leadership capacity for sports ministry in the Church.
INCARNATIONAL MODEL. We seek to come alongside leaders in order to mentor, disciple, and significantly invest in their lives and ministries.