The rest of the world is buzzing over the World Cup. The World Cup is a football (soccer) tournament that happens every four years between the world’s top 32 countries. It captivates the attention of the world for an entire month. Keeping people on the edge of their seats to see who is going to win the next match, waiting to see who is going to the final. Will it be their country’s team or the team of their neighboring country? There is one thing about football (soccer) in that separates the rest of the world from the United States. Football is life! It is life in the since that it is the only sport that the majority of the world really cares about. When people go on their lunch break, they play football. When they want to hang out with their friends, they play football. Fathers don’t play catch with their sons, they teach their sons how to pass properly or how to take a penalty kick. Football is life!
This type of culture creates amazing and unique ministry opportunities!
Part of ministering to communities whether here in the states or internationally is identifying and understanding their passions. Once you have done that, figure out how you can reach out and minister to the community through those passions. In more suburban areas here in the States, it may be through a softball league or through watching college (American) football together. In more urban areas it may be through art shows. Ministry opportunities are abundant no matter what cultural environment you are in, be it in Rudy, AR or New York City, in Zaventem, Belgium or Bogotá, Colombia.
Ministering through the World Cup is an amazing opportunity. It is an opportunity to meet people at a very personal and passionate time. An opportunity to share those passions, scream at the refs for bad calls, celebrate when your team wins, or come up with reasons why they lost. It is an opportunity to cultivate relationships with people that you might not have otherwise.
A term that is used a lot in Christianity today, perhaps too much, is “doing life.” Part of “doing life” with others is more than having a weekly small group with people from your church. It is reaching out to the people who do not go to church. People who may not even want to step foot in a church, for whatever reason, they have a misconception of what it means to follow Christ. “Doing life” is not something that should stay between church goers, it should be the relationship that is between the Body of Christ and the lost and hurting who do not know Him. The World Cup creates the very opportunity to open the doors to this relationship.
Many foreign missionaries use the Cup to reach out to their community, to minister to those in need. They invite everyone to come and watch the match while they broadcast it on a big screen with a projector. They let the community know of their desire to watch the matches as a community of neighbors. They express their desire to “do life” with everyone, not just the church. But it doesn’t stop after the matches are over. They use times like these to grow those realtionships and share the love of Christ. They use the World Cup to love others and “do life” with them.
What is your World Cup?
What are the passions in your community that God can use through you to reach out to your neighbors? What is your World Cup? How can you express your desire to “do life” with others? What is your softball? What is your art show? What is your World Cup?
It is my prayer that we would be a people that seeks after ways to reach out to the lost and hurting in the community that God has placed us. May we be a people that lives out Luke 10:27 by “Loving God and Loving Others.” It is my prayer that we would truly “love our neighbor.”
What is your World Cup?