Church > Sports?

This past Friday, as I was doing a little pre-camp shopping for essentials (a man needs his cliff bars and 5 hour energies), I saw my friend, Steven, tweet this:
"Is there ever going to be a day (especially in OC) when church will take priority over sports for students? -@StevenOrel
(By the way, Steven co-writes a great blog called Gen To Gen YM. Click the link to check it out!) This reminded me of a ministry story from a few months ago.

About a year ago, a new family moved to our church from another local one. They had two teenagers, one a freshman (a guy) and one a junior (a girl), that entered our student ministry. I tried my best to get to know them right away, but both had a little bit of trouble opening up. You see, they had both gone to their former church for their whole lives and felt like their parents had "up-rooted" them.

Naturally, I spent more time trying to get to know the guy. Every question was met with an awkward stare. Every request for a high five was met with the same. I couldn't figure out how to crack this kid!

Flash forward a few months... we started a student worship band. Well, I found out that this kid played guitar. So I invited him to play. And he... was... GREAT! I was so impressed! He became our lead guitar player.

A month or two later, his mom came up to me after a worship service and told me that that week, he had been told by his soccer coach that they were having a mandatory practice on Wednesday evening for their big rival game on Friday. But our student band was playing on Wednesday night. So, her son told his coach that he wouldn't be coming to practice because of his commitment to our worship band.

I was floored!

I thought all of my efforts to reach out to this student weren't producing any results. But I was wrong.

How many times have you reached out to a student in your ministry, but were met with awkward stares or silence? Let me tell you, keep trying. Keep talking to them. Keep reaching out. Find out what they love and try to connect with them through that.

And let my story provide you with proof that, not only can connection with tough students happen, but sometimes they'll even choose church over sports!

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