Our international work
We are committed to partnering with sports mission organisations and individuals from across the world, as together we seek to reach the world of sport for Christ.
We are part of the international sports movement and one of the primary ways we support this is through training leaders in other countries. We don’t want to plant Christians in Sport in other countries, we want to help local leaders start sports mission in their country, in their city and their communities. The International Sports Leadership Training (ISLT) which has been developed by a range of people involves teaching how to handle the Bible, how to explain the gospel, how to lead a team and how to relate the Bible and sport. If you have ever done Pray Play Say training at a Christians in Sport event, this is the same material we adapted that is being taught abroad.
The international sports movement sees Europe as one big region and this is the main focus of our international work. We help lead training around our continent and help support the people we meet; linking them up with other sports mission agencies, with other individuals we have come across, and sometimes supporting them by visiting and helping with their sports mission.
In July 2016, a four week summer school, called European Sports Mission, will be taking place for young leaders from across Europe for them to gain in-depth sports mission training but also to serve on sports camps or community projects around Europe. Click here for more information.
The challenges met by Christians across Europe and the world vary and it is a very rewarding part of what we do seeing young leaders standing up and living out the gospel in their specific areas; some in ways here in the UK we think unfathomable.
The page below is taken from our Winter 2015 back pages magazine and provides a snapshot of the work of Christians in Sport across the world in the last 12 months.
Here's a brief insight into some of the ways we get involved with sports mission internationally:
In 2013, we sent a team to help run a sports camp based on the Sports Plus model in Romania. This was all done through meeting Manu, a PE teacher in the city of Cluj, many years ago. She is an international handball player who has the passion to see sports people in Romania come to Christ. We had delivered a ISLT training with leaders she had gathered in 2012 and Manu was keen to have a sports camp in Romania for the sports young people she had contact with. We see it as a three stage process: come and see, let’s do together, then go and multiply.
Come and See
In line with supporting leaders in their own countries rather than planting Christians in Sport abroad, we invited Manu to Sports Plus Brecon in 2012 to see how a sports camp works. The idea was to give Manu an insight into what were the non-negotiable principles of running a Christian Sports Camp whilst letting her adapt it culturally and contextually to a Romanian model. We see the principles as:
1. The gospel, plainly and simply, is taught from the Bible.
2. Leaders display Christlikeness.
3. The value of sport is kept as high as possible.
Let’s do together
Having experienced an English version of camp, in June 2013 a small team headed out from the UK to Cluj in Romania to support Manu and her team’s version of Sports Plus. This camp was made possible by the money we had raised from young people undertaking the bleep test at Sports Plus in 2012.
The training of leaders started on the Friday evening and went through to Sunday lunchtime, after which the young people arrived and stayed until Thursday. The timetable of the day looked very similar to a UK Sports Plus camp and yet the feel, the coaching, the team challenge, the meetings all took a Romanian feel.
40 young people attended - all decent sports players including two national level girl’s teams in Basketball and Handball. Many came with little understanding of the heart of the gospel. Combining a high level of sports coaching, competition and the good news of Jesus taught relevantly to the Romanian sporty young people and it proved to be a really great week.
Go and multiply
In the summer of 2014, a smaller team from Christians in Sport headed out to help Manu again. This year, the only part our team played was the Bible teaching in the evening sessions, and the Romanian leaders handled everything else including the team times with the young people. Our team were thrilled to see how much the Romanian guys had learnt from last time and next year we expect to either not have to go, or to go and just help out, letting the leaders run it all by themselves.
The aim is for the Romanian Sports Camp to grow in depth, to grow numerically and multiply. Hopefully this model of discipleship will further God’s kingdom; but these things can’t be rushed and we will support Manu and others as long as she needs us. We’d love to see Sports Camps of this nature spring up all over the place in European countries as we identify and partner with leaders who are gospel centred and passionate about the world of sport.
“The Sports Plus camp in Romania for serious players from sports clubs from my city was a dream come true. I’ve heard so many times the phrase “Dream big and start small!” I think, in a way, that happened with our first Sport Plus camp in Romania. The dream is big, we started with 40 young sportspeople and it was a blessed camp! I am looking forward to see what God is going to do in the future because He is greater than our dreams!” Manu