Monday, February 06, 2006

Sports and Spirituality

Woo-hoo! I'm back on the internet, but unfortunately right at the start of my busiest week since the many months spent lazing on the beach over summer, so I'll slowly be putting down all the stuff I've been processing over the last little while.

The first thing though has been this workshop I'm running for the Youth Vision Expo on this Saturday (basically a youth leaders training day with people from across Churches of Christ, looking at different models and methods of youth ministry) which should be really sweet.

Unfortunately its on the same weekend as the first VETAMORPHUS retreat, as well as my U/15 boys last game for the season, which may also hopefully be their first win! Fingers crossed-but its looking good.

Anywho, they've got me talking on sports and spirituality, and how Jesus might connect with young people in that arena. So there'll be a little bit og Forge type stuff on Incarnational Mission and what not, but the main area I'm really excited about exploring is the interplay between sports and spirituality.

There's a really great quote from the movie Chariots of Fire, when one of the main characters is having all these ethical dilemmas about whether or not he, as a Christian, should be running on a Sunday. Not an issue I would struggle with, but understandable for him I guess.

So he's leaving in this world that is telling him he shouldn't be involved in that unholy place, doing non-sacred things on a Sunday, instead he should be in the House of the Lord-where God is, and where you properly worship Him...

This worldview seems to clash so harshly with the fact that as he so simply puts it,'When I run, I feel God'

Exploring that idea will probably be my basis, talking about how in essence all of life is spiritual, and an oppurtunity to experience and learn more about God, if only we are open to it. And how this rubbish sacred/secular worldview-which tells us that some things are somehow more 'Godly' than others and that God can only be worshipped in the right way/place/time, affects our thinking.

I wanna touch on the spiritual aspects of the community you develop through sport, about the possibility that 'life, and life to the full' (John 10:10) is also talking about how we look after our bodies, looking at some of the analogies that Paul offers up in his letters, that kind of thing.

I also wanted to toss around ideas and pick all of you who read this' collective brains. What makes you think that sport is or isn't a spiritual thing? What part does our sporting lives-if any, play in our discipleship? How do we help people to name and recognise the sport they play as the spiritual experience it can be, and what part does that play in the discipleship process?

Would love to hear any thoughts or comments from you guys. Cheers

13 comments:

Matt Glover said...

Digs, my senior pastor has just finished a masters paper on sports chaplaincy in Australia, and covers a lot of what you are talking about. It would be worth getting in touch with him at some stage. Email me and I'll send you the details.

MG

Mim said...

ha- had to leave soon after church to work at the sports center on sunday and was asked why I worked on a sunday- did get me thinking though about how much I see God as much pretending to be crocodiles in the ball pit with a bunch of 5 yr olds or playing cricket and soccer with a group of 9 year olds as I do at church- that I'd never even thought to have an issue with working on a sunday.
I could go on for ages trying to answer thoughs q's from my experiences but no tsure it'd be helpful and prob stuff you already know- but think there are some real similarities with music and sport in this respect- (we should play sport sometimes instead of singing in services!)
This story I found a while back says a lot about sports potental
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13782115&postID=112917196712466509

¿johnman¿ said...

for me sport and whether it be athletics, or a ball sport or MTBing, or just going for a run is/has been an important part of my life. God made me an athlete how could i dare not use what he has given me. when i play sport of any kind i feel more alive and know God has a smile. like there is not sacred and secular, so there is not spiritual and not spiritual we are spiritual beings and God is apart of all our lives. keeping God as the driving force in our sporting lives is the key, and not the worship of the sport. after all we live for God not sport. as for the sunday thing that is of course rubbish to me, yes i need to meet with other christians together and be apart of a community of believers and yes i need to have a sabbath day, but it doesn't say sunday anywhere in my bible.

owl said...

I guess it's a question of focus and witness - are we really communing with God, and do our activities constitute a real witness? We must be in the world, but not of it. People still talk of Eric Liddell, as he proved by his actions that God was number one in his life. Not everyone is called to do as he did, but the basic aim should be the same.

owl said...

BTW, I was 10 mins late (was the greeter at church) last sun nite, as I watched the end of the Oz one-day innings. (Dang - halo around ankles again!)

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