The way ML Woodruff connected with CSO is becoming a common occurrence.

A few years ago ML had been hired as the new Sports Outreach Director at Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA.  ML had a strong sports background having been a high school baseball coach for many years but was looking for help on how to start a sports ministry at a local church.  One day he decided to look to Google for some help and found us.  The rest, as they say, is history.

ML, and his church, are now part of the CSO Network.  We’ve been privileged to get to know ML over these past few years and are impressed with his zeal to reach people through sports.  In a few short years, ML has built a sports ministry at Istrouma that is quite large and that is continuing to grow.  In the midst of all of this though, ML strives to keep the gospel at the center of his ministry.

ML was kind enough to do a Q & A with me regarding his ministry and their involvement in the CSO Network:

What are you most excited about right now in your ministry?

We are excited about our ongoing first base program that collects new and used baseball equipment.  We give this equipment away at our Operation First Base Day when we invite high school and college baseball teams to do a baseball clinic for inner city kids.  We join community churches together to greet, feed and do follow up.  Our goal is to have eight outreaches in inner city areas in 2013.  God has placed us strategically to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to areas that are filled with crime.  Baton Rouge is the number one city for crime in the U.S.  Our sports ministry has an incredible opportunity to reach these communities for Christ.

Can you share a story of a life that has been changed through your ministry?

Three years ago a family signed up to participate in our ministry (a family from the church had invited them) and the dad volunteered to coach.  After two years of their kids participating and the dad coaching they started to attend our church.  Two Sunday’s ago the parents were baptized after making a decision to follow Christ and only last week their oldest son of 10 was also baptized by our ISO coach that had coached him in football, basketball, and baseball.

How has CSO helped your ministry?  Where would you be without CSO?

CSO has offered vision, support, prayer and expertise in how to use sports to reach a lost and dying world.  They are an excellent organization and have resources available to help you cast a vision for your ministry.  Not only that, they come along side you to help see it through!

Without CSO ISO sports would be wandering in the wilderness.  CSO gives us clarity and feedback on positive things that are taking place and suggestions to help make things better in our ministry.


About the Author

Tim Briggs is the Creative Media Pastor at Church at Charlotte in Charlotte, NC. He blogs regularly at Church Sports Outreach. He also regularly writes about ministry, the church, technology, culture, and creative stuff. He is married with two children and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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