Did You Know: Dr. James Naismith invented basketball as a way to reach young people for Jesus. His vision for the sport: “To win men for the Master through the gym.” That same vision is fueling Upward Sports, the world’s largest Christian youth sports organization. With this in mind, this year we as a church are partnering with Upward Sports to bring a youth basketball league to Ravenna so that we can reach families with kids!

It’s no secret that Americans love sports considering the sports market in the U.S. is over $69 billion dollars, making our country the most successful sports market in the world. However, while the sports market is sky rocketing, church attendance continues to decline. Since the year 2000, the number of Americans who say they belong to a church has dropped from 77% to 64%, with only 37% attending every week.

Those numbers are sobering, but in conjunction with the statistics about our sports consumption they represent an amazing opportunity – an opportunity for the church to use a game to connect with our communities, build trusted relationships, and earn the right to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our players and their parents.

Sports teach the importance of respect, of understanding rules and boundaries and the reality of consequences for our actions and mistakes. Critical character traits such as sacrifice, mental toughness, and perseverance can all be cultivated on the field of athletic competition. Beyond all of those positive developments, there is platform for spiritual growth.

There are plenty of relevant, unique, and effective ways to incorporate ministry into the sports experience. Upward Sports builds its teaching strategy on developing total athletes through the 360 Progression™, a sports experience modeled off of Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

Sports can be an ideal platform for evangelism; you can build trusted relationships with players and parents, and earn the greatest right of all: the right to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

The early bird registration cost per child for basketball is $65.
After October 31st, the cost is $75.
Deadline for registration is November 14.EVALUATIONS: EVERYONE MUST ATTEND ONE EVALUATION!
Saturday, November 7th: 9am—noon All Ages
Tuesday, November 10rd from 6:00-8:00pm All Ages
Thursday, November 12th from 6:00-8:00pm All Ages
Saturday, November 14th from 9:00-10:00am 5-6th Boys Scrimmage
Saturday, November 14th from 10:30-11:30am 5-6th Girls Scrimmage

The First Practice is scheduled to begin the week of January 18th.
Each team will practice only one day a week.
Games every Saturday from January 30th, 2021 through March 21st.

Sarah Borgman