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Churches urged to intentionally pray for their sports communities

by Cara Bentley

On National Sports Sunday, Sports Chaplaincy UK are urging Christians to think about how they can pray for their sports teams and clubs and do more together, but ultimately to view sport with a Godly attitude. 

Warren Evans, CEO of Sports Chaplaincy UK, told Premier: "National Sports Sunday is simply an initiative to encourage the church to look at the community of sport differently, rather than feeling that they're simply an activity, a commodity or even a competition for getting kids in church - but look at it through the eyes of a compassionate God. 

"And when we do that we respond differently, and that's the challenge - to pray for that community, to be intentional with that community and to engage with that community and when we do that we'll see what God does."

He explained how sport has great values, a togetherness already and that the church could step into that: "If we're a little bit more strategic, if we can look at that community, instead of rejecting that community - that community is 25 million people, we can't afford to reject that."

Evans challenged Christians to think about the practical ways they could get to know people on sports clubs and be a witness: "Where does it say we have to meet at 10:30 or 6? Can we do something slightly different? Can we send a youth worker to kids club? Can we invite or do a barbecue? Can we send a bag of oranges?"

"We just want people to look at people through God's eyes."

Simple things are what is being recommended by Sports Chaplaincy UK - for parents to pray when dropping kids at sport, being intentional on the touch line and not shouting at the referee and praying to join in where the Lord is working. 

"Instead of asking people to come to church why don't we go to them?...They're missing one thing - what we can take is the hope of Jesus" Evans said. 

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