Every year for the past 20 plus years, the months of October and part of November have been consumed with planning for our upcoming Early Winter basketball season at Shoreline. We are blessed to continue to pull in more than 500 players each year.
As I write this, we have almost 400 players, and I begin to create teams tomorrow (October 22). That process takes about 60 hours as it involves more than 600 requests from parents.
It is truly a blessing to plan this coming season as I am reasonably certain that at least 200 of the incoming players are new to the program and at least half of the players do not know Christ as their personal savior. This is an amazing outreach challenge for the sports ministry.
More than 60 teams will stop once every week from November 26th through February 9 to learn about Christ. I am honored to prepare the devotions for these teams, and I am excited to report that the players love to learn about Jesus and many of them turn their lives over to Him each season.
As a part of this outreach, we will repeat our Division Parent program from last year. We are very grateful to the more than 50 church members who got involved last year, and I encourage you to come out December 1 on Opening Day to welcome parents and players to Shoreline. We call you “Sports Connection Parents!” Below is an explanation of how you can help. Please let me know if you have questions.
What is the Division Parent’s Program?: During our Early Winter basketball season, Division Parents from the church have volunteered to connect with the teams and coaches in their divisions. The sports connection parents show up on some game days to help the Division Parents by waving at halftime and talking to teams and parents after the game.
Why: The program is designed to better connect parents who bring their children into our sports program with our church and its members.
Who: A sports connection parent does not need any expertise (or interest) in sports; they need to have a desire to build relationships with parents who need Christ.
As summer turns to Autumn, as the leaves start to fall, as the weather turns a bit cooler, our thoughts naturally turn to… more basketball!
In September, we will launch our fall basketball program for approximately 200 children in ages K through high school; we will also lead a Fall volleyball clinic for more than 60 children. During both programs, we will share the gospel at every practice.
All through the fall, we will be preparing for our second year of involving Shoreline church members as Division parents to help connect our sports ministry parents and players to our church.
Our summer season involved many weeks of camps and programs that shared the gospel every day. During the course of the summer, we will have shared the gospel thousands of times to hundreds of campers. What a tremendous blessing and responsibility.
We were also blessed to travel to San Diego for a twelfth time to run sports camps for churches there. Each day, our sports camp workers led devotions that explained the gospel message to children from those communities. Eighteen of our strongest coaches worked this week and led the devotions. We also spent many hours in devotions with the workers, and we always see significant decisions made coming out of those intense sessions.
Thank you, as always, for your prayers.
We are very excited to enter into another summer of Shoreline Sports. For more than 20 years, we have been blessed to share the love of Jesus Christ with the community through our sports camps and unique programs. Here are the three goals for Summer 2018:
First, we want to chart the character development of our workers. God has blessed us with more than 35 workers again this summer. These young people typically grow up in our program and return to lead the next generation of campers. During the last two weeks, these young workers have experienced more than 7 hours of Bible Study with us and started down the path of becoming the godly leaders that our program needs. We have another 4 hours of training in sports and scripture, so we appreciate your support and prayers.
Second, we want to share the gospel with our campers and help disciple both the campers who know Christ and our workers. Every camp day, we spend at least fifteen minutes in devotions. This summer, we are sharing the stories of the entire Bible in 6 weeks. The focus is on who God is through the Bible and who He is for the young people receiving the instruction.
Finally, we focus on evangelism every day in the summer. The devotions all share the gospel each week and educate the campers on the love of Christ and His desire to have a relationship with them. Our workers' training thoroughly investigates the Great Commission and walks each worker through role playing in sharing the Great News of scripture.
We thank you for your prayers, especially July 10 through 13 when we travel to San Diego to lead sports camps for other churches.