How can God use a football to reach a community for Jesus? At Victory Life Baptist Church, God is showing people that faith and football can walk hand in hand whenever people come together to make a difference!
Every Saturday throughout September and October, Victory Life has hosted a football league through Upward Sports that fields more than 250 families of young kids from Kindergarten through the sixth grade. The concept of Upward Sports is to provide a positive sports environment while teaching every child about the love of Jesus. Many people look at a sports league that is held at a church and think that the level of competitiveness will not be as strong as a secular league. Our families have been very happy to see that we encourage competitiveness while promoting good sportsmanship.
Throughout each week our coaches hold a one-hour practice while sharing a devotional half way through that teaches our athletes about virtues that base solely out of Scripture. This year, we have covered commitment, endurance, and humility. As the season has gone on, Victory Life has had many opportunities to share the love of Jesus and be a support system for many families.
One aspect that makes Upward Sports unique is that churches are able to reach people on Saturday that they would never be able to reach on Sunday. In Texas, football is one of the most effective ways to bring others together. Why not use football to our advantage and sponsor a league to proclaim the gospel of Jesus? Churches must be willing to do whatever it takes to reach people and Upward is proving to be one effective way to infiltrate our community with positive Christian values.
1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Athletes that compete in the league begin their experiences thinking that they will be scoring touchdowns for their team. Through Upward Sports, our athletes finish the league knowing that their job is to score touchdowns for Jesus. Teams become brothers and sisters. Parents become encouragers. Referees become rule makers and Coaches become pastors. The experience that matters most to Victory Life is to see that families are being strengthened through the biblical principles that are taught to all athletes.
So how can God use a football to reach a community for Jesus? All it takes is a church that is willing go ALL IN to reach families no matter what the cost. Our fields are full of people every weekend reminding us about what is truly important. Victory Life is not ashamed of the gospel and we believe that God can use something as simple as a football league for children to help us reach the most important people group in our community: The Family..
By Jake Edwards