I would highly encourage anyone to read this story from the Willow Creek Association about Kasr El-Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt. God is certainly using this church in a country where 90% of the population is Muslim. One of the main ways they reach out to people is through sports. Below is an excerpt:
Leadership development is crucial in a country that closely monitors Christian activity. New ways to do outreach require creative and Spirit-led leaders. One way that Kasr El-Dobara is demonstrating bold leadership and a pioneering spirit is through its sports ministry, co-led by Tamer Isaac, a staff member of the church.
“Our sports ministry is committed to transformation with a holistic approach,” Tamer explained. “We reach out to kids with games and kids camps. Over 55,000 kids were served in the first year. Our philosophy is if we can’t get people to the church, let’s bring the church to them with something they love. It’s all about breaking barriers and seeing church with different eyes.”
Lives are changed through the various camps as 95 percent of the kids who attend camp accept Jesus. The church also offers camps for the community, including the Muslim population. They use a value-based curriculum without using the name of Jesus and also offer a program for Muslims focused on parenting. “These parents want their kids to go to camp because they see the changes in their kids’ behaviors,” Tamer said. “It opens lots of doors with the community.”
Tamer and his team are also committed to helping other churches implement a sports ministry and offer a leadership training program called ‘Pillars of Influence’ for leaders ages 18-25 who receive skill training and teaching before heading back to launch a sports ministry in their community. Tamer’s dream is that every church in Egypt would one day have a sports ministry as an effective outreach tool.
What a powerful story of how the tool of sports is being used as a bridge to reach lost people!