MBC sports ministry bears fruit
HOLTS SUMMITT – It wouldn’t be summer in Missouri if the Sports Crusaders weren’t canvassing the state, teaching sports clinics centered on life’s ultimate goal—living for Christ.
This year the sports ministry was staffed by 50 missionaries and ministered to 2,413 young people in 130 sports clinics. Those numbers are down a little bit from previous years, but Sports Crusaders staff members aren’t complaining.
“Even though we were in less places and spoke to less kids, we saw more kids get saved this year than ever before,” said Tricia Alberts, ministry associate for Sports Crusaders. “We had 418 professions of faith this year. It went very well.”
The students from Missouri colleges and universities (and one student from Williams Baptist College in Arkansas) spent their summer teaching clinics on basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, cheerleading and volleyball.
They began each day with a “skill of the day” specific to the sport being taught. Later they would break for “Half Time” and a devotion themed “Back to the Basics.” Based on Philippians 3:16, students learned the basic fundamentals of living a Christian life, including prayer and modeling a Christ-like lifestyle.
“It’s about character building,” Alberts said. “It’s not designed for the pro athlete.”
Although most of the clinics were in Missouri, Sports Crusaders took its show on the road with camps in Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Alabama and Texas. The ministry also took international trips to Alberta and Vancouver, Canada, as well as Merida, Mexico on the the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Of the more than 300 students who attend the clinics in Canada, 39 made professions of faith; in Mexico, 179 of 1,700 professed Christ as their savior.
Although the clinics are over for the year, that doesn’t mean Sports Crusaders is through. The ministry is sponsoring a “Night at the Ballpark” Sept. 1 beginning at 6:15 p.m. in St. Louis when the Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds. Not only will Sports Crusaders’ staff get to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, but the ministry will be introduced before the game.
“It’s the most awesome thing to be standing there on the ball field and hearing them talk about all the kids we worked with and the message isn’t being watered down,” said Alberts. “Forty thousand people will be hearing the word ‘Jesus.’”
Sports Crusaders is offering $29 tickets for $25. For tickets or more information, contact the ministry at (573)896-6095.