For Ohio Christian University (OCU) Director of Ministry Programs Dr. Wayne Pessia, Christian ministry centered on sports, recreation, and fitness (SR&F) programming is an important, growing, global trend.
Churches have been building gymnasiums and fielding softball teams for years, and the SR&F ministry movement has expanded in activities and events as active boomers age, young parents dive deep into children’s sports, and millennials experiment with nontraditional sports.
Today, churches are increasingly attuned to this trend as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission and be faithful to a Gospel-centered ecclesiology.
Using SR&F as a ministry tool is significant inside the church and in para-ministry settings. Organizations that began over 50 years ago, like the Fellowship of Athletes and Athletes in Action, thrive and expand.
An athletics and activity-centered ministry is growing outside of the U.S. The Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministries and Unchartered Waters Sports Ministry, for example, are equipping and partnering with churches. Thousands of individuals are impacted through their collaboration.
The world speaks the language of sport. Consequently, an SR&F ministry calls for specialized training. Athletic and sports-minded Christ followers called into SR&F ministry need a biblical, theological, and methodological foundation to be effective. OCU’s new academic concentration fulfills this need. As AVP of AGS Enrollment Nicole Davis explains, “We are pleased to offer students the opportunity to acquire this new SR&F concentration in this expanding ministry field.”
Find out more about the Sports, Recreation and Fitness degree program here.