I came across this article about a church in Kannapolis, NC and how they used some church property to do sports outreach. It’s so encouraging to read the church’s vision and what is happening–I would highly recommend reading the full article. Below are a few excerpts:
First Baptist has always sent money and people to distant lands, but they began to ask, “What if our mission field is Midway?” — that 11.5 acres of sports fields and bare ground the church bought in 2002. “What if God actually wanted us to ‘burst through the bricks’ and make a difference here?” said Haven Parrott, minister of spiritual formation.
When they considered ways to engage the community, everything seemed to start with Midway. The fields are surrounded by easy access highway and a transitional neighborhood of modest houses once occupied by mill workers.
The church bought the land strictly on the basis of opportunity and potential. They paid it off quickly and gathered their plans to build. Then the economy hit a brick wall and the answer to their prayers was, “Wait.”
But “wait” didn’t mean “stand still,” and the compelling question of ministry continued to motivate the church. For several years they had sponsored a soccer league that developed into a comfortable, friendly, weekly get together at the soccer field for about 85 Christian children and their families.
“That’s not outreach,” said Cabaniss. When the coordinator had to drop out the church went a different direction. They passed out flyers in each elementary school — all of which are Title 1 schools with a high percentage of poor students. The church “charged” just $5 but easily overlooked even that “dignity fee,” and 200 rambunctious, excited children flooded the field.
About three dozen church members volunteered as coaches and organizers, and other members came as cheerleaders for whatever team needed some that day.