Sports seasons come and go. But one thing that never changes is your church’s mission. It continues 365 days a year, even when your Upward league ends. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use the vehicle of sports to reach your community.
One of the most versatile programs Upward offers church partners is camps and clinics. These programs can be used virtually any time of year with a lesser need for volunteers than leagues. Here are three great ways you can use a camp or clinic to further your sports ministry and make an even greater impact in your community:
#1 Generate excitement for an upcoming league!
Many sports leagues have preseason events that help create buzz for the upcoming season. High school football has jamborees, college basketball has Midnight Madness events, and pro sports all have various exhibition games. Do a camp a month or two before your league to give participants a taste of what a league will be like. A clinic will get parents excited for the upcoming season while also reinforcing some skills players will be learning during the season.
#2 Bring some fun to the dog days of summer!
Aside from VBS and a youth group mission trip, church calendars get pretty quiet in the summer months. This makes sense for the most part, but it also leaves a gap for families finding themselves in need of something for the kids to do. Providing a safe and fun camp gives parents peace of mind and gives you the opportunity to connect with families. You can even do multiple camps featuring different sports which can attract more participants than usual. In a time of year where more and more kids want to sit inside staring at a screen all day, give them a chance to get active, have fun, and learn more about Jesus.
#3 Make a creative ministry touchpoint that requires few volunteers!
Because camps (4-5 days) and clinics (one day) require little time commitment, you won’t need as many volunteers or need them as long as you would for a league. This flexibility allows you to run camps and clinics during even busier times of the year. Consider running a Holiday basketball camp during Christmas break. You could run an MLK Day clinic when kids are typically out of school. You could do a monthly clinic that kids participate in while the parents are enjoying a meal together, perhaps even right after Sunday service. Consider running a camp or clinic to provide another ministry touchpoint to impact participants and their families.
Camps and clinics are the most versatile sports programs you can run. They act as the perfect bridge in-between sports leagues. At the same time, they provide an excellent opportunity for parents to allow their children to “try out” a sport before committing to a league.
Have you considered running a camp or clinic?
Let us know what questions you might have so we can help you maximize the impact on your community!