Sports church ministry




4,000 youngsters in about 10 countries




4,000 youngsters in about 10 countries

Project story

Sport as a tool to share the Gospel in the neighbourhood

Using sports to give youth the opportunity to know Jesus Christ, grows personally in faith and character and taking action to impact others.

Problem statement
In today’s world a lot of young people haven’t had the chance to get to know Jesus and there are still many areas in the world where the gospel hasn’t been shared. Many Christians and local churches want to take the Great Commission serious and reach the world for Christ, but are lacking the right tools to do this. At the same time church leaders are struggling to engage their members in daily life Gospel sharing and discipleship. Especially young Christians are not familiar to share the gospel with their friends, classmates and neighbours.

Athletes in Action (AiA; part of Agape The Netherlands) has started to train and equip local churches to build an ongoing sports movement in their local community. This movement helps the church to connect with people in an natural way and share the gospel in a relevant way. Sports is a common language that connects non-believers and Christians easily and is therefore a great tool to build bridges and relationships between those groups.

The focus of Athletes in Action is to build missional sport communities with the local church. Our experience is that a missional sports community is one of the greatest tools to have a lasting impact in the lives of (young) people. Therefore, we support the community teams of the local church in not doing just activities, but making disciples in their communities through a variety of strategies that build into the local community, reaching various target audiences within the neighbourhood. The impact of sport ministry is illustrated in the video at the end of this story.

‘For many years we play sports in our community organized by the church. We are on the field every week! We really love to play with the other teenagers. During the activities the sportspeople of the church always share nice Bible stories and testimonies about their lives. Me and my brother started to think and talk about these stories more and more. This year we decided that we want to become followers of Christ. In October we will get baptized in the church.’  – teenagers from neighbourhood

The project has been a 2-year project, 2021-2023. The total budget is invested in translation of materials, recording training videos and training- and coaching events. All the employees working on this project raise their own (!) salaries through personal fundraising and are paid based on the amount raised. The only part AiA need funding for are costs for the project. The remaining request for funding has been $26,500 for year 1 and $15,000 for year 2. This means in total $44,500.

MissionInvest USA has been very blessed to find the right donor who likes to support missionary projects where their support serves as a catalyst to then further scale up the project.

The impact of the project has been huge and very encouraging for all stakeholders involved. Honestly, it has been much more fruitful then expected from the beginning. By the end of the project period in 2023 the results will be:

  • In total we trained in 2 years 318 volunteers in Netherlands, Argentina, Bolivia, South Africa, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Croatia, Italy, Malawi, Tanzania, Latin America, US, South East Asia and Middle East.
  • These volunteers worked in this period 28,000 volunteer hours to reach their young people with the gospel through sports.
  • In 2 years our program reached 4,000 non-believers with the Gospel.
  • The leaders of the churches and camps have reported over 500 salvations in this season!

The indirect impact of the program is much bigger since all the trained leaders are equipped to train others. By doing this an ongoing, multiplying movement is launched

Project impression

Script EN
Script EN closed and realized


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