IHQ to establish Sports Ministry Desk
Sports ministry becomes “official” at IHQ.
Following consultation with senior International Headquarters leaders, the Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Robin Dunster, has approved the establishment of a Sports Ministry Desk within the Program Resources Department at IHQ.
Sports ministry is not new to the global Christian community, and within The Salvation Army many territories and commands are well advanced in outreach and evangelism through sport. The Chief of the Staff’s decision means sports ministry is now formalized within the Army’s structure and will be enlivened on a wider scale by the sharing of resources via a Lotus Notes database and discussion forum.
The possibilities for reaching out evangelistically through Sports Ministry—as well as enhancing and developing character-building programs already in place—are limited only by the imagination and vision of individual Salvationists. The opportunities for outreach include activities as broad as mission teams to such events as the Olympic Games and Soccer World Cup, as well as sporting activities on a local and more personal scale.
Major Stephen Yoder, under-secretary for Program Resources, says: “The challenge is to acknowledge the sports activities which create the most excitement—and which people enjoy—and then dare to believe that God can and will use that passion and energy for kingdom building. How can sports become ‘church’? How can sports become mission? Sports ministry has the potential of impacting people of both genders, all ages and backgrounds; families; corps communities, divisions and territories.”
As part of the approval process, the following mission statement has been adopted, supported by three major objectives:
The Salvation Army Sports Ministry Desk/Network exists to facilitate the development of sports as a mission opportunity within The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army Sports Ministry Desk/Network facilitates the development of sports as a mission opportunity within The Salvation Army by the following means. It will: cast vision to the Salvation Army world; identify, equip, mobilize and encourage Salvation Army Sports Ministry leaders; connect The Salvation Army with the global Sports Ministry community.
More details will become available in due course as the relevant database and discussion forum come into operation. In the meantime, a simple look at the web using “Sports Ministry” as the search criteria will give an immediate idea of the myriad resources already available.
Any immediate questions, comments or resources to share should be directed to Commissioner B. Donald Ødegaard, international secretary for program Resources at International Headquarters.
From an international news release