My kids have always done extracurricular activities, but this was the first year for little league sports. Here are a few things I noticed:
1. Parents are more committed to seeing their kids in sports than they are in church.
2. Kids absolutely do not want to miss soccer.
3. Parents are more passionate about their kid’s progress.
4. After just a couple of short weekends, parents have connected and are already doing barbeques together.
5. The coach-a volunteer-puts a lot of time and effort into his team.
6. Little league created a community.
7. The kids absolutely loved wearing matching and personalized performance shirts, (click here for more info) because it made them feel like a true sporting family.
I found myself as a parent rushing to get to their games and practices on time. There’s no way they could be late! As I started reflecting I wondered what was so different about soccer and kids church. Why are the dynamics different? A better questions to ask-how do I as a children’s pastor tap into that same passion, enthusiasm and commitment?
Instead of getting upset at parents choosing sports over church, I see it as a challenge. I want to learn from them how to create that environment. Some random, incomplete thoughts I have are maybe there’s something to do with the financial investment into sports…How can I get parents to invest in the mission of the church? Parents are very involved and have something to say-trust me I’ve heard them yell at the coach and cheer for their kids…How can I get that involvement in church (without the yelling at the “coach” part)? I see it not as “us against them”, but rather as a “what can I learn from them?” Maybe I need to hand out team sports uniforms for them to wear to church.
What are your thoughts on sports and church?