Coaches Do Double Duty!
The phone reports coming to us from coaches and players who are using conversational STS stories to reach their players and fellow team-members really impress us. Trying to get these hands-on users of story to sit down and write their testimonies of use is a challenge of its own.
But we plan to "run the race" and "tackle" them to get some reports to us so all of you sports-minded people can get some ideas and encouragement. For now, here are two sports-related reports for you.
Cross CountryA motivated young woman in the USA attended an STS workshop. Her job in a public school is coaching cross-country runners. Later she wrote and told us how she was using her new STS skills.
“Part of our training to condition the girls in running is to occasionally stop and rest. Before I attended the STS workshop, as we rested, we used to just talk about nothing of value.
“So, I decided to ask the girls if they wanted to hear a story. They said, “sure,” so I told them a Bible story. We just take 15 minutes on our rest stops, so we had a short time to really talk about the story, but we did get into it some and they liked it.
"That started me doing a lot of stories. I picked out some stories about women and athletics. Just a few of the girls are believers, but all of the girls get involved in talking about the stories.
“This is a natural way to witness and all of us are being touched by the discussions.”
Soccer“I am convinced that the many lessons we learn while on our journey to become more like Jesus are not much different from the lessons we learn on the soccer field. We need to learn courage, discipline, importance of the daily training, and patience among many other things to become good athletes and disciples of Jesus. God has put a calling on my life to be at that junction, helping others bridge that gap between our love for sports and more importantly our love for God.
“My first exposure to Simply the Story was in Uganda, Africa where I was serving as a missionary. I was there doing pastoral training and sports ministries. The Lord had opened up an incredible opportunity for me coach the Arua Central Young Stars, a semi professional soccer team, which ended up being an incredible ministry. There were 28 players on my team and many of them were Muslim with only 5 of them being Christians.
“I began to tell them Bible stories in hopes that the lessons learned from those stories would make them better soccer players, and also that the stories would begin to impact them spiritually. I believe the Lord gave me the method of sharing the story and helping the players apply it to their soccer lives, however, at the end of the training session I would bring the story back around and apply it to their spiritual lives.
“Towards the end of the season one day I was walking home with Tomasi, my captain who as well was one of the Christians on my team. I asked him what the players thought of my Bible stories. He told me, They like your stories because through them they are being taught how to become better soccer players.” But then he said, ‘Coach that does not even matter though because the most important thing is that you are witnessing to them about Jesus and that is why I like your stories.’”
I believe in the STS model and believe the Lord is calling other kingdom builders to meet athletes where they are with the rich truths of His stories.
Nick Strong – USA
[If you would like to contact Nick to find out more on use of STS in a sports environment, send an email us and we will endeavor to forward your request. Put in the subject line, "Want to contact Nick Strong."
Hint: It would help the exchange to move more quickly if you wrote a short note on yourself and your interest in contacting Nick.]
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