Amidst the poverty and famine in Malawi, I received this uplifting update from Pas Rex on the ongoing efforts to reach the villages with the gospel as they turn up in large numbers to watch teams of church members play recreational soccer and netball.
Brothers and Sisters,
Our sports evangelism efforts are producing fruits. Many who come to watch also hear the Word of God. It is a wonderful tool indeed! Last weekend there were matches in Thyolo where four teams met.The teams were Chilemmba, Katundu, Monekera and Namiwa. Monekera boys won while Chilemba Women took position no 1.
Thank God indeed!
It is refreshing indeed that these amateur athletes can bring in crowds of spectators, and that the Malawian pastors can address this gathering with the gospel. We can scarcely comprehend the size of the EPC of Malawi and Mozambique, totaling in the tens of thousands, yet they go forth to evangelise, for the Lord says, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Lk 14:23) The fields of souls are ready to be harvested and we take encouragement from our brethren that we should employ every legitimate measure to be made all things to all men, that we might by all means save some (1Cor 9:22).
Certainly there is always the danger that sports can be made an idol, and many in Australia indeed appear to put sports before church, and the physical before the spiritual. But what if we cast down every imagination of sporting glory, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; and brought into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5)? What is we made sports into a tool of evangelism?
Think of how Noah, whilst in the midst of building the ark, must have used it as an occasion to declare the coming judgment, since Peter refers to him as a ‘preacher of righteousness’ (2 Pet 2:5). How important a work preaching the gospel is, for it can transform something of little profit like sports, into something with promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come (1Tim 4:8) by using it as an opportunity to declare the gospel of Christ.
In the right hands (or feet), a ball and a few jerseys can reach crowds that would not otherwise hear the gospel. Please pray that the sports evangelism efforts would be led of the Spirit to preach Christ to the glory of God.