Where else could this be done?

Would you believe one of the country’s best sports facilities is just west of Dayton, OH in a town of only 30,000?  Tucked away southwest of Xenia, OH is AIA’s World Training & Resource Center   (WTRC).  In September, I toured the WTRC sports complex with my friend, Don Ross.  The complex is the fulfillment of one part of AIA’s vision to share the gopsel through the world of sports.  Since athletes are heroes in our culture, AIA is striving to build a relationships to share the gospel, disciple, and equip people to fulfill Matt 28:18-20 through the door of sports.    Currently, the WTRC can provide housing for over 250 and banquet facilities for 500, as well as conferences and even family retreats.  Touraments and clinics for football, soccer, baseball, track and field, and softball are held nine months a year, all with chaplaincy services.  Challenge Courses are also available to provide any type of team-building experience.  All of this is to ultimately share the gospel and build ministry across the world.  In fact, over 80,000 were served in 2010.  The WTRC also plays an important role with the Global Teams where each project team completes their planning and training in Xenia.  In addition, the Global Team conducts coaching clinics for many sports serving coaches from around the world each year.

See it for yourself by contacting Erin Wellman at (937) 266-3883 or erin.wellman@athletesinaction.org.

Dreaming Big

I recently had the pleasure of joining AIA’s U.S. Soccer Director, Jim S. who, 15 years ago, followed God’s leading to start a ministry through the game of pro soccer.  It all started in Columbus, followed by connecting with teams in Kansas City, L.A., and then Dallas.  Jim has been known to say “Let’s Dream”.  Well it paid off; today there are over 20 AIA staff / volunteers serving as chaplains around the world of Major League Soccer (MLS).  Jim uses a simple model of building relationships and helping the team by affirming and encouraging both players and staff.  He visits the team once or twice a week.  One of those days Jim leads a Bible study, inviting anyone associated with the team to join.

The potential for world-wide ministry is easy to see.  There are 184 players representing 55 countries in the MLS.  Given that the number of youth playing soccer in the US has doubled since 1990, the opportunity is big!  During the 2010 World Cup Soccer competition, AIA was able to expose over 800 million people around the world to the gospel  through broadcasts and distributing DVD copies of “The Prize” .  See more about “The Prize” and how it was used to reach the world for Christ by reading our 2010 annual report (Page 7) at AthletesinAction.orgAs we serve on AIA’s Global Team, soccer will become an ever-expanding avenue to share the Gospel around the world. 

What is God asking you to dream about?