World Sport Ministries: Grant Sheppard Interview - 2012 Olympics
World Sport Ministries' leader, Grant Sheppard tells us how his Olympics are shaping up so far...
"The Olympics to me are an opportunity to celebrate God's gift of sport through the world's largest sporting event coming to our shores.
More importantly, its our greatest opportunity yet to encourage the church to use sport to impact it's community through the amazing fever that will exist this year.
My greatest hope is that Jesus will be made famous through the Olympics and Paralympics and many will come to know him through the faithful and intentional outreach that the Body of Christ does."
What will you be doing during the Olympics?
"Lots! Pre-Olympics, we are serving More Than Gold through sports mission partnership and helping envision and train believers and churches to 'Get Ready' locally and nationally.
It's our hope that we can help start and support the formation of many new Community Sports Teams throughout the UK who can use this event to reach out and then be set for ongoing follow-through legacy because the Olympics will come and go, but sport and leisure will remain. Find out more about Community Teams.
During the games, there will be so much going on in Bath & beyond reaching all age groups through the associated fever."
What projects will you be running linked with the Olympics?
"In the Bath area we staged 64 different projects last year and many of these will be ongoing this year such as sports tournaments, schools ministry and children's sports camps.
This year's Love Bath is in June, but will have a real sports festival approach and hopefully trigger churches staging their own mini festival / street parties during the Games.
We hope to run and inspire opening and closing ceremony screening events for families, encourage churches to run 'sports services,' sports quizzes and run a 'Games' Mission for a day in a school. Click Here for The Scripture Union Games For School resources."
Will you get to see any Olympic events firsthand?
"Unlikely as my focus is really reaching communities through it rather than watching live events myself."
Are you involved in the torch procession as it passes through Bath?
"I'm not one of the runners, but we hope to mobilize outreach teams to serve people on the streets and follow the torch through the area in prayer."
"I know I am sports biased, but this really is the year like none other yet for God's people to relevantly get into their communities and reach out through the fever of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
At WSM Bath, we would love to serve all churches and help equip sports minded people who can represent their church on our Community Sports Team. From previous major sports events in other nations around the world, most churches who did nothing have real regret and say 'we never knew it would be like that.' It's not too late to join in and we could help you put something together.