For many of us, game days are little more than organized chaos. Is it too hot or too cold? Do we have enough popcorn at the concession stand? Will all of the refs show up?
You know the feeling. By the time the scoreboard hits 0:00 and the lights are shut off; you’re left wondering “Did we impact anyone’s life today?”
You’re not alone. Many of us struggle with this same question.
Recognizing connection opportunities on game days can be difficult but here are 4 tips to help you and your team make the connection.
1) Pray expectantly and earnestly. James 5:16 says “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” You never know who is coming to your gym or field - a single mom struggling to care for her kids, or a dad who was recently laid off from work, or maybe a wealthy family with a worldly view and no deep connection to anything. Spend time as a team prior to each game day praying for those coming and to be open and ready for the opportunity to show God’s great love to those who attend.
2) Take notice. To be effective in any form of ministry, you must see those around you. In Matthew 9:36, we read about when Jesus was traveling and teaching the Good News to people. It says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.” A great first step in seeing people is to intentionally look up and notice those coming through the doors.
3) Be present in the moment. Encourage your team to be in the moment. Game days are busy; don’t let the distractions of the details keep you from being intentional in connecting with others. Notice the individual you are interacting with and have courage to step into the uncomfortable and engage in a conversation.
4) Find common ground. Almost all of those visiting are there to see a child play - whether they are a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Finding common ground by that fact alone is easy. Take time to dig a bit deeper, get to know attendees, ask a question or two - where do they work? Where do they live? What sports teams do they root for? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:22 “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” Greet people. Smile at them. Share a laugh or two. People will remember how you made them feel.
You have a tremendous heart to impact your community through this season. Encourage and challenge your team’s efforts so that no one walks away from the gym or field without experiencing the love of Christ in some capacity.