Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

October 2003: The spirituality of sport

Grace 2003-04 flyer frontGrace 2003-04 flyer back

Can sport bring you closer to God? The dark side of sport - drugs, hooliganism, football (only joking). How we use and appreciate our bodies.

Lots of youth workers are into sport as a means of evangelism. Lots of Christian kids have to choose between sport and church because so much sport happens on a Sunday. Jen's Dad was a great runner - his Brethren Mum used to just quote him the verse 'the Lord delighteth not in the legs of a man.' This all seems very dualistic. It would be good to say that sport can be a spiritual thing in its own right.

6pm start for setup

problem of seating - everyone bring rugs, picnic blankets etc.

mark - please can you sort some videos of match of the day, sporting events?

[we haven't got stations, but what about people bringing sports clothing/equipment to make some kind of display/scene-setting - even if we can't get a rowing machine. eg a pair of nike trainers for the altar ;)


  • bicycle
  • wetsuit
  • shoes
  • sports bra
  • football shirt
  • skateboard
  • snowboard
  • tennis racket
  • hockey stick
  • shin pads
  • cycling jersey
  • cricket bat/whites

[that's just me thinking of what people here have got]


not sport as evangelism but the spirituality of sport [jen]

word association game

think of the positive and negative aspects of sport - write on cards
mark a line from positive to negative on display boards
stick cards up on display boards with velcro [velcro roll from greenbelt] at positions of plus/minus along line
group feedback - all gather round to contest card positions and move them

[who's doing this bit?]




make a question sheet for small group discussion
selection of questions covering things we've discussed in the planning group, eg

  • what makes an activity sport? can any activity become a sport eg ballroom dancing? if not why not?
  • is sport spiritual?
  • is sport a substitute for god in contemporary life?
  • does god intervene in sport to determine outcomes? is it right to pray to win?
  • is the extreme focus on self and sport needed to succeed at the highest level compatible with christian life/values?
  • are women's sports given a lower value?
  • is competition right? what about non-competitive sport?

centre of service:

three people present stuff - their personal view of spirituality and sport

  • steve on the spirituality of snowboarding
  • jen on triathlon
  • mike - spirituality of extreme exercise - state like fasting - focus on person, cutting out of distractions

meditation on body - vigorous


still meditation


'this is my body'

track to listen to [words on screen?]


how can anything human *not* be spiritual
our problem is that we think some parts of being human are spiritual and not others
in the kingdom there is no distinction etc

football match showing afterwards

cafe - everyone bring drinks - jackie will do vaguely turkish food plus pizza


<< swipe left

Sports equipment piled up on the old nave altar.








Watching an important football match after the service.

<< September: Ambient Mass | top | November: Ten >>