I’ll be honest with you Tony. I didn’t think this would work.
That’s what one deacon said to me last fall. I had just
stepped leaped outside the box. This same deacon is now one of my leading volunteers. In fact, he ended up coaching his grandson’s soccer team! But he wasn’t the only one with questions.
Q: So, are your going to have a soccer team? Who will they play against?
A: No, we’re going to have 12 soccer teams. And they will all play each other on our new Soccer fields.
Q: Wow . . . but where will you get enough kids?
A: I’m glad you asked – I’m actually counting on you to find me a few.
So, the 75 registrations I projected became 110. We fielded 12 teams in three age divisions. God blessed our church in ways I never imagined. Now, this year we’re at 158 and counting.
Am I a great leader? NO, NO, NO. I am just one guy learning how to reach kids by trial and error. Upward Soccer is the biggest winner I’ve found in children’s ministry. To be fair Upward Soccer is not a magic bullet. It will take some hard work. You will have to pay the price. It will take a fresh crusade of volunteer recruitment. You will have to face some hard questions. But when you see the crowds of children and parents you’ll know it was worth it. When you see kids coming to Jesus – then you’ll know.
10 Reasons Why I Love Upward Soccer
- Upward Soccer is about the Gospel. Their vision statement is crystal clear. Upward is about “introducing children to Jesus Christ.”
- Upward Soccer brings un-churched families to our campus for 2+ hours every week.
- Upward Soccer is easy to start. Because of Upward’s training we were able to pull together an excellent sports outreach from the start.
- Upward Soccer promotes church unity. Upward Soccer had people from all age groups working together to reach others for Christ.
- Upward Soccer brings families together.
- Upward Soccer works in small churches. Our congregation was averaging under 200 in worship last year when we launched Upward.
- Upward Soccer has a massive cultural appeal. Parents want their kids to have a sports experience that isn’t so high pressure. Parents want their kids to learn values like teamwork and having a positive attitude.
- Upward Soccer is a sure fire way to get dads involved. Sports outreaches like Upward build bridges to churched and un-churched fathers.
- Upward has primed our church for explosive growth. After Upward, I saw our Wednesday evening program double. We have new families at our church that we can directly trace to Upward Soccer.
- Upward soccer is fun. Kids, parents, coaches and church volunteers love it.
In addition to Soccer, Upward has basketball, cheer leading, flag football and sports camp programs. You can find out more on Upward website.