About 80% of people in the world play, watch or read about sports, so it is an effective platform for sharing the gospel. AIA currently has staff in 60 countries where we constantly strive to reach people with the gospel and to disciple them so they can reach others. In ⅓ of those countries we are focusing on a new paradigm to involve and equip more laborers for the harvest. The dual approach is to equip churches to reach their communities through sports ministry and to develop volunteer chaplains to minister to professional sports teams.
AIA staff member Adam K. recently traveled to Cali, Colombia, where he led the first sports chaplaincy conference there. At the 2008 Olympics, Adam met Piedad, the AIA country leader in Colombia. She has over 40 volunteers serving with AIA in her country. Adam partnered with Piedad to train over 20 new volunteer chaplains. Adam says, “I can’t imagine a finer group of like-minded Christ-followers to pioneer this new strategy in Colombia where we envision thousands more being raised up to point others to Jesus.”
“There is brokenness in sport,” Adam says. “Athletes are struggling in their personal lives and their personal development, and owners want their teams to have good reputations.” Because God has blessed, AIA is held in high regard around the world. Competing teams we have sent on mission trips have played a part, as have the good character and spiritual maturity of national staff members who have had much influence in the world of sports.
AIA has provided chaplains for the Olympics since 1966 and chaplains for US pro teams, and we are praying for God’s favor and grace for international pro teams to agree to allow chaplains to serve them. We are trying to establish relationships with coaches, sports federation presidents, team owners and others to see sustainable, on-going ministry in countries around the world.
We will never have enough staff members to reach the entire world with the gospel, so creative ideas are required to involve more people in fulfilling the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations.” Pray with us for more laborers.
Praise God for Adam and others who are pouring out their lives to reach another generation for Christ around the world!
We appreciate your partnership. We love you!