blog | 18.07.19
On the 24th of May, the Royal Portrush Golf Club hosted a sports quiz for its members and staff. Hundreds of these quiz events are run up and down the British Isles each year, but this one was special as it came at an exciting time in the club’s history.
For the first time in 68 years, the Dunluce links will play host to The Open Championships. Bringing together the best male golfing talent in the world in pursuit of a major title, this event provided an unmissable opportunity to gather the club community together to look at an even greater prize; the gospel of hope found in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In this build up to The Open, the handful of Christian members at Royal Portrush Golf Club jumped at the opportunity for an evangelistic event and so committed to hosting a sports quiz.
The evening was attended by 55 people who formed teams made up of the greens staff, playing members, club council members, and clubhouse staff, each with a Christian member on their team. The quality of the quiz competition was high, and included a recorded introduction from golfing legend Bernhard Langer who also gave a ‘Bernhard’s Bonus’ question at the end of each round. Further to this the winning team were awarded miniature replicas of the Claret Jug, paying homage to the club’s upcoming hosting of The Open.
In the midst of some great sporting trivia and team chat, there was an opportunity to reflect on the message of the gospel and the hope that it offered to the 45 non-Christians in the room. A short evangelistic film was played to spark conversation around the greatest discovery that can ever be made in Jesus. Allen McCluggage, a Christians in Sport staff worker for Northern Ireland, also gave a Bible reflection on the hope Christ offers all who trust in Him. What an excellent opportunity to reach those who love golf with the gospel!
Richard, one of the quiz-facilitating Christian members of Royal Portrush, reflected on the event and the chance to follow up with those involved, saying:
“The Open returning to Portrush created a unique opportunity, and a few club members prayed for God’s word and Christ’s name to be part of the conversation. Inviting members and club staff to a quiz was an opportunity to thank them for all they do and to build relationships. It was most encouraging to see the room full beyond capacity, with those not yet Christians hearing a clear half time message to consider the claims of Christ. Praise God for this first step! We pray for future thoughtful, intentional and strategic witness within Royal Portrush Golf Club.”
This was one of several evangelistic events happening in the region, with another sports quiz held down the road in Portrush Town Hall just the week after. With a strong turn out of sportspeople, a bespoke quiz trophy on offer, and an engaging talk on the Christian faith, this is set to become an annual event.
God is at work in Northern Ireland, softening Christians’ hearts to reach sportspeople who don’t yet know Jesus and opening up opportunities to share His Word. Praise God for His saving gospel and the hope it offers to all, and pray with us for more chances to share it with sportspeople in the County Antrim region.
Major sports tournaments, like The Open or the Rugby World Cup, can provide a great opportunity to get local sportspeople together and reach them for Christ with an evangelistic event.
The Sports Mission Pack has a whole range of resources to help you put on an event, from a sports quiz to a netball tournament to school assemblies. The possibilities are endless!
The pack can be accessed here and any questions you may have can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you and help you host an event where relationships can be built and the gospel can be proclaimed to sportspeople!
Christians in Sport is a UK based charity that aims to reach the world of sport for Jesus. We mainly work with sportspeople in competitive and elite sport.
Registered Charity England and Wales 1086570.
Registered Charity Scotland SCO45299.
Company number: 4146081
Photos (c) Shutterstock unless specified