I remember some youth wanting to reach out to their friends. But how do you ever get yourself in a space where you can talk?
The answer they found was by playing sports together for fun. Afterwards you’re naturally sitting around, chatting while having a drink. Other things you get up to socially can be discussed – one of which is your church youth group involvements . Invitations to church youth events etc… can easily be shared in these conversations. Others will raise questions too, like, “Why do you go to a church? How does that make sense?” (I was in church work in Singapore at one point too. Man, those drink stops were needed in that heat!)
The timing is also a factor. I’ve seen some playing sport for fun before their weekly church youth meeting. Whether it has been deliberate or accidental I don’t know, but some who have joined them for sports have often stayed on to join the youth programme afterwards.
For a number of years a youth group I led had a high number of both boys and girls in it who played soccer. We played nearly every week. It was a bridge!
Another youth ‘drop in centre’ I helped run was based around basketball and table tennis – with an indoor court in a church open on Friday nights for anyone to come in and and play. Free juice, biscuits and milo were available. It gave youth somewhere to hang out. Then you’d stop to get some oxygen back in your lungs- and you’d discuss stuff. Youth joined bible studies. We provided fish and chips some weeks if they wanted to join a discussion on God and faith etc… before the evening games time. Various ones found hope!
So – remember, sports can be a bridge.
- Get a few Christian friends to join you.
- Start enjoying what you enjoy – while inviting others.
- Discuss other things you do while there – like yout church involvements and beliefs,
- Extend invitations.
Why? It’s about giving your friends more than just a fun time. It’s about giving them an opportunity to engage in some important conversations they might not get to engage in otherwise – and it’s important!