Summer 2019 soccer camps and block parties in Canada provided opportunities for people from Temple Baptist Church in Ruston, La., to help members of a local church spread the gospel further in that community.
Multiply Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, cooperates with sister churches to reach an area that is less than 5 percent Christian. Parties and sports camps for young people usually attract entire families, providing opportunities for believers to share the gospel with people who don’t attend church. Scott Felder, a volunteer from Temple, commented, “The staff is loving and relational-minded to build genuine friendships/relationships with those in the community.” Brooke Dies, another of Temple’s volunteers, commented, “The same people keep coming back all summer, so they really get to know the people from Multiply,” thus increasing opportunities for witnessing.
Although sports camps and parties might seem nontraditional as avenues of ministry, they serve an important purpose — providing a sense of community for people to get acquainted in an area where few residents know many other people who live near them. Felder said, “Even if they aren’t willing to engage in a gospel conversation, simply providing community for them is a great way to meet an initial need.”
Perhaps a girl named Sonya is the best illustration of how God works through such activities. A member of a Hindu family, Sonya was a regular attendee at the 2019 activities, just as she had been the previous summer. She seemed particularly focused on Jacob Ambrose’s salvation-centered devotion on the final day of camp. When the session ended, she lingered but seemed reluctant to engage in conversation.
God was at work, however, and during that night’s block party, Sonya’s mother asked if she could drop Sonya off for church each Sunday and pick her up afterward. Her reasoning was that the girl needed to be around the kind of people who form the fellowship of Multiply Church. Felder commented: “A Hindu mother willingly bringing her daughter to attend a Christian church just because of the people! Unbelievable!” He added, “What an enormous opportunity for an entire family to be changed forever. Just another affirmation that God is using Multiply and its people for the advancement of the Kingdom!”
Although the people at Multiply Church and its partners in ministry, like Temple Baptist, rejoice at the success of activities like these, much more remains to be done. As Jesus said in John 4:35, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.” The Lord’s work in Calgary needs more volunteers and prayerful support.