Your opportunity to reach out through sport — JP Flugel

JP Flugel

Welcome to Team Talk — our Spring edition. I cannot believe that it is September already and that we have entered the last four months of another year of great testing.

I can only but be grateful for the Lord’s hand upon me and my family. He has protected us, provided for us and definitely been faithful in every area of our lives. Especially when I was faithless and there have been a number of those times in these last two years, I can tell you that. Those moments where God has come through in the last hour. I know that you know what I am talking about.

If it seems like the last hour is approaching fast, know that God is never late and if you are struggling to believe, then may God help you overcome that unbelief. It is how I pray so often in times of trials. ”Lord, I do believe but help me overcome my unbelief.” Time and time again God has sent either a brother or sister in Christ or even a stranger with an encouraging word and when it comes, you know it can only be God and it definitely carries one through to when God shows up. Amen. Glory to God!

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PHOTO: Omar Ram/Unsplash.com

This brings me to our topic for this month — fulfilling the Great Commission. Scripture is very clear on this. It is one of the most important principles in the Bible to follow. A stagnating church will be the end result of not obeying this fundamental principle or command.

Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

Most often when we speak about making disciples, fulfilling the Great Commission and reaching the nations, we think that we have to sell up everything and go and live in a foreign country. While there are some people who do this, that is just one leg of the call to missions. There is also a great need for local missions. Especially now, during Covid, with all sorts of travel restrictions and lockdowns.

Many church leaders are trying to navigate through running a church during these trying times. One of the biggest questions is how do we grow our church numerically, especially when government either closes churches for a period of time or limits the numbers that may attend.

Some very interesting teachings have been released on this matter but in my humble opinion, nothing has changed. The command in the Bible remains the same: Go to all nations and make disciples. It’s a very important principle that many churches overlook.

How blessed are we in South Africa that the nations have come to us and for such a time as this. The church that is obedient to this command will certainly be blessed in every possible area.

If government closes buildings, then meet in parks while hiking, on beaches while fishing, in coffee shops, restaurants or even better, in each other’s homes just like the Church in Acts. What an opportunity for congregants to invite unsaved colleagues hiking, fishing, cycling or to any other interest group.

Sport is one of the biggest tools at the churches’ disposal to reach the unreached and yet very few churches run a sports ministry programme. I, personally have seen God do incredible miracles through our sports ministry. The wonderful thing about sports ministry is that it is able to reach all ages and one can also mix ages, genders and most importantly, cultures. Give this a try and you won’t be sorry!

The other principle (and there are many) in the Bible that I would like to bring to your attention today concerns children and especially orphans. Check out these two verses:
Matthew 19:14 – Jesus said,” Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these.”
James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.

These Scriptures are linked to fulfilling the Great Commission. In fact, all roads in Scripture point to fulfilling the Dreat Commission.

Many churches have great Sunday school and youth ministry programmes, and are doing magnificent work in teaching, training, guiding and counselling young people.

One of the most challenging ministries in the church is youth ministry but it is the most rewarding. I’m biased in saying this as I have been a youth pastor for 14 years. How much of our youth programmes have been external in focus? Do they fulfil the Great Commission? Do they reach out to underprivileged areas?

I challenge even myself as I write this as I could definitely do more to go into areas that I have not. My heart is so much to reach the fatherless and orphans. Their plight is a pandemic in its own right.

Reaching out to these young people has to go way beyond collecting food, clothes and blankets and dropping them off, while spending a little time with the kids. We have so much wisdom, insight, knowledge and understanding to offer to those that hardly have anyone speaking into their lives.

We can impart skills development through sport, business and technical knowledge. Our love, our words and our deeds will most certainly give hope to the hopeless, open the eyes of the blind, cause the lame to walk and even raise the dead in Jesus name.

What a way for our whole church to get involved. To break racial barriers and to set in motion the ministry of reconciliation that has been given to us.

Church, we are the only answer to the many challenges we face in our beautiful country and continent. For we have been given authority in the mighty name of Jesus. The name above all names. The harvest is white but the workers are few.

If you are unsure of how or where to get involved, please feel free to contact me at fusionsportsministry@gmail.com. I love to connect people from across the city and even SA. Or you can speak to your local pastor and even missions organisations. They will point you in the right direction. Have a blessed September friends.

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