YOUTH DEVOTIONALS FOR TEAM SPORTS
HOW WE BEGAN
In 2013, the director of a faith-based sports league had a problem. He needed youth devotionals for baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball.
His coaches had already gone through the devotional booklet the organization originally created. Coaches who wanted new material were on their own to either make it up themselves or find something online. But the material online was typically targeted toward collegiate athletes, not the younger age groups his coaches were working with.
The director needed something simple but impactful that his coaches could easily lead during practices. So he approached the children’s pastor at his church about writing devotions that would take them through the entire season.
The new devotions were exactly what he needed. Each season, the children’s pastor continued to write devotional series for all of the different sports in the league. Problem solved.
But what about other sports ministry directors? Were they having the same problem?
If one sports ministry director was having trouble finding sports devotions for younger kids, there might be others. They thought it would be a good idea to make this resource available to everyone.
HOW WE’VE GROWN TODAY
The children’s pastor…that’s me…started Team Sports Devotions, curriculum for coaches who lead youth devotionals. We quickly found there is a need for this type of resource. In 2017, after requests from churches and recreation leagues, youth devotionals for football and soccer were added, as well as a five day summer camp series.
WHAT’S UP AND COMING FOR TOMORROW
In 2018, we’ll be adding some new resources. We want to help your organization reach out to family members and friends who attend games with half-time devotionals. And coaches want to save time with pre-written emails they can send to parents letting them know what their players are learning spiritually and how parents can continue the conversation at home.
WHAT COACHES LIKE ABOUT TEAM SPORTS DEVOTIONS
First and foremost, coaches like that our devotions share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Many kids in their sports ministry programs don’t attend church and aren’t taught about Jesus at home. Some are hearing about Jesus for the first time. Team Sports Devotions helps players learn who Jesus is, how much he loves them, and what it looks like to follow him.
How boring would it be to end practice with a generic Sunday school talk? You’d quickly lose their attention. Coaches like that our devotions immediately engage players by discussing a skill they are practicing or sports-related situation they might find themselves in. They like that our devotions make the connection to God’s truth and help them apply it to their lives. Coaches then challenge the players to take action demonstrating faith in real ways.
Some coaches have tried to fill the gap by purchasing a book of year round sports devotions. They cover a large variety of sports. Even though you can choose the ones related to your sport, they still fall short of delivering a consistent message. Coaches like how Team Sports Devotions unpacks a book or theme of the Bible and connects the dots of what God is saying to the sport they’re playing.
Founder, Team Sports Devotions