Stories

Combining vision with passion

Date posted: 13/09/16

 Combining vision with passion

 

The latest Director's Message from Graham Daniels focuses on three key passions we have at Christians in Sport.

Passion really matters in sport. Talent and an inspiring vision to make it to the top in sport are never enough to get you there. You need vision and passion if you are to succeed.

A great dream, when coupled with terrific passion, leads to the kind of sporting excellence we read of in the latest Back Pages magazine. That’s why Olympians Adam Pengilly and Debbie Flood transformed foundational talents to reach the Olympic stage. It’s why Parys Edwards is competing at a world-class level.

Christians in Sport has a great vision to reach the world of sport for Christ. That vision is harnessed to three passions which drive this vision and which we hope continue to turn the dream into reality. We have a passion that God Speaks; that the Bible is God’s word of truth for proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and for building up His followers.

We use the Bible as the measure of all truth about God as we explain the Christian message in the world of sport. We want to let God’s word do God’s work. Whether it is in our work with elite athletes or in our summer camps for young sportspeople, we have a passion to hear God speak to all through His word, the Bible.

Combining vision with passion

Photo: Martin Bateman

As we seek to reach the world of sport for Christ, we have a passion that the Church Leads; that the local church is the primary community for making disciples of Jesus and training them in godliness. Our priority is to see sportspeople maturing in Christ in their local church and being supported to pray, play, and say in their local sports clubs and teams.

Christians in Sport is an organisation that has been created to serve the local church as it reaches its local world of sport for Christ. We work hard to focus on serving local churches to achieve this task. We work with a wide range of denominations and church movements, but work most closely with churches for whom our third value really matters, serving them in their vision for the world of sport. Euston Church in London, Hamilton Road Baptist Church in Bangor and Ebenezer Church in Machen, which feature in the latest magazine, are just three examples of these.

This is because our third passion that Sport Matters, is that the ability to play sport is an aspect of God’s creation that can be enjoyed for His glory. We encourage Christians to live out their faith in sports clubs and to tell those they train, play or compete with the good news of Jesus. Worship is a matter for the whole of our lives not just Christian meetings. We understand this specifically from Romans 12 v 1-2 and the focus of the New Testament that there is no longer any distinction between sacred and secular.

Combining vision with passion

 

Since sport can be an act of worship, we encourage sportspeople to worship God in their sport, to play for an audience of one. Worship is an attitude to every action - whether we’re scoring a brilliant three-pointer, coaching our team to victory or missing an open goal, we’re called to worship Him with every gift and ability that He has given us in sport and in every aspect of life. As sportspeople commit to honouring Christ in sport, we encourage them to share the gospel message with those they compete alongside.

We serve the world of sport best by strongly encouraging Christians to stay in their sports clubs and equipping them to follow Christ in an environment where God has given them talents and where so many people who are not Christians spend their time. With young sportspeople from their teens to early 20s, we work particularly hard on the principle that they are “born to play” in order to establish a life-long habit. Examples of this include the Academy, which we are celebrating in this issue, and the university groups featured in the God’s Work in the World of Sport section.

Passion really matters. It turns a great vision into a profound reality. I hope you will be envisioned to reach the world of sport for Christ with the passions that God Speaks, Church Leads and Sport Matters.

 

Graham Daniels

Graham Daniels, Cambridge United Football Club
Graham is a director of Cambridge United FC and is General Director of Christians in Sport. He is an associate staff member of St Andrew the Great (StAG) Church, Cambridge