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Sports: a universal language on the mission field

By December 15, 2015
(Photo courtesy AIM)

(Photo courtesy AIM)

International (AIM/MNN) — Teams are a central part of who Africa Inland Mission is as a mission. Mission outreach and church planting is tough, so to have a group of fellow sojourners standing with you in the ups and downs of cross-cultural life and ministry is huge.

Teams bring together men and women with different abilities, foster interdependence, and bring synergy to the work at hand.

Learning is a central part of our outreach strategy. We believe God can and does use ordinary people–Christ followers who desire to share His love with the nations–to establish His church. But we know that cross-cultural church planting and missionary outreach isn’t something most Christians are formally equipped for. They may have the desire, but wow: where to even start?

Africa Inland Mission has developed a team approach that enables men and women who may be new to missions to be equipped through hands-on-in-the-thick-of-it learning while they serve among their host people group.

They do this through two approaches: TIMO and Focus teams.

TIMO stands for Training In Ministry Outreach. It’s a 2-year curriculum-based program that brings together a team of 6-12 new missionaries and their team leaders, and places them among one of Africa’s unreached or least-reached people groups.

Focus teams are similar to TIMO teams in that they bring together men and women to serve under the leadership of well-qualified leaders to work among one of Africa’s unreached or least-reached people groups.

One of those Focus teams is the Sports/Fitness team.

(Image courtesy AIM)

(Image courtesy AIM)

Serving in a location that is closed to traditional mission work, this team will use sports and fitness training as a means of reaching men and women with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“Sport is a wonderful, universal language,” write the team leaders. “It provides a powerful way of connecting people with one another whatever their age, gender, culture or religion.” The caveat: the original start date in 2017 has been postponed.

If you’re interested, AIM still wants you to explore the possibilities of working on the Sports/Fitness team. It’s a 3-year team that will serve in a Creative Access context. AIM will share more about the location with interested candidates as they explore this team.

Team Make Up: We’re looking for a team of ten, to include a mix of coaches, meere and women who love marketing and accounting, entrepreneurs, and people with business experience.

What about you? If you have a heart for missions and would love an opportunity to blend your love for sports and fitness with your desire for making Christ known, we invite you to explore this unique team opportunity.

One Comment

  • Tim Smith says:

    I coach olympic style weight lifting at my gym in Hartville, Ohio and have been coaching for over 30 years part of my ministry is to the developmentally disabled that compete in special olympic competition. I am interested in starting new gyms that can be used as a outreach to their community.

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