Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Club & Hockey Ministry

Several years ago, I heard a brief segment on the radio about something that got me thinking. They had reported a popular TV talk show host said something like, "Radical Christianity has caused as much trouble as Radical Islam". At first I was appalled, mad, and even disgruntled; but once I thought about how the word "radical" was being used, I realized the statement was probably more correct than I wished to believe. Let me very briefly explain, and then I will get to the real point of this post. I will apologize in advance for the heaviness of the first few paragraphs, but I feel it is needed.

First point - Abortion clinic bombings, witch hunts, killing heretics and pagans, the Crusades, thousands upon thousands of people have been killed in "the name of Christ" (sad but true, and, I have yet to find anywhere in the NT where we are justified in doing this...Obviously Christ is not represented well in situations such as these).

Second point - There are places all over the world, both past and present, where being a member of the Clergy meant power - political and otherwise - much to the detriment of the Body. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this overbearing power has really turned many people away from the comfort, freedom and love that is found in the message of Christ.

Canada (Qu├ębec) is no exception. Several years ago, the religious powers were controlling every aspect of peoples lives, even to the point of telling families how often to have children. People fled from the "church" at an alarming rate, and now Sherbrooke is less than 1% Evangelical Christian. Most people are uncomfortable with the social stigma that comes with being a Christian, and invitations to Christian events often go unannounced and poorly attended. Here is where a different definition of "Radical Christian  comes in. To me, being a radical Christian means being so dedicated to Christ, being so focused on Him, there is hardly any room for anything else. So, in Canada, how can you be a Radical Christian, attract non-believers, and not come off so strong that you completely ruin your chance to demonstrate the love of Christ?

 HOCKEY!

We have been blessed to meet a local family who have dedicated their lives to a personal ministry. Every Friday night, they rent the gym at a primary school and let neighborhood kids play floor hockey. With that comes a great opportunity to teach life skills through sports: teamwork, cooperation, focus, confidence, sportsmanship, obedience, confidence, unity, goal setting, self-improvement, hard work, and self-correction. And self-improvement takes place - these children learn about laughter and smiles. In a "cold" culture, and especially with the avid video gamers these days, these concepts are often foreign or forgotten. They also learn about Christianity and faith. Because of this one families involvement with children, they have had many opportunities to interact with some of the parents as well, many of whom are Muslim, or apathetic to any religion.

Assisting with this ministry is a perfect fit for us! It just so happens we love hockey, too!!! Plus, it fits our school and baby schedule, plus we need opportunities to practice French, plus we love working with children. Perfect fit all around!

Pep Talk & Prayer

The kids in action.

The look of concentration....or confusion....

GOAL!!!!!!!!!

Game on!



The Equipment Manager

Teaching the kids sportsmanship

One Friday night out of the month instead of playing hockey, we gather for "Club". Its very much like a VBS with games, songs, skits and a lesson. Most club nights the attendance runs in the 60's or higher. A lot of the Bible students from school come out to aid as well. It is one big playground in one little gym!

Most of the time we divide the kids up for a game where the boys go against the girls.
A race to the finish. The winner answers a trivia question.

Time to sing songs! (The adult helpers are students in our class)

Skit/Story

And then there is always time for some good old fashioned rough housing.

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