Friday, December 14   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



Samuel Crespo

My team had a match today

“My children want to play sports, but that means not being able to go to church on many Sundays”. What should we do?

IN FAMILY AUTHOR Samuel Crespo TRANSLATOR Israel Planagumà 12 NOVEMBER 2018 15:36 h GMT+1

Life is simpler in black and white, but that is not the best option in many situations. That is the case with a question families have to deal with every year around these dates. Here’s the question: “My children want to play sports, but that means not being able to go to church many Sundays”.

Many families have to deal with this situation, and there’s no answer to it in any user guide. At times, when looking for advice, many feel they are being bombed with a series of out-of-context Bible verses to justify what ends up becoming a simplistic decision: black or white

Should Christians give up being salt at sports events? If a teenage girl from our church, with all of her background in values and biblical knowledge, likes playing football, should we as a family give up being a witness to other families with whom we share an interest? I’m sure most Christians rejoiced while seeing some national football teams praying on their knees during the last World Cup in Russia. How would they have made it there without having played earlier as kids and teenagers?

Honestly, I believe that we can find solutions because our relationship with God should never be based exclusively on Sunday services, even if these are especially important in our spiritual life. Then, what can we do? Is there an answer to this dilemma? I want to give five points to meditate on.


1. Values in sport

There are some very positive values in sport for life, and they also have roots in the Word of God. Fair play, discipline, effort, comradeship and solidarity are aspects we can reinforce from a biblical perspective. Of course, we can also talk about negative ones, such as egocentrism, arrogance, the search for fame and riches, or fighting. All these questions are related directly to the fruit of the flesh. Masks fall when we play sports.


2. Spiritual life in the family

Delegating our children’s spiritual growth to church or Sunday school is plain negligence. These two institutions are a great help for this quest, but not the foundation. Parents should be the teachers, priests and intercessors; the ones providing spiritual food for the growth of our children. If we lose the support of our local church because our children’s sports—or any other reason, like disease, moving to a different location...—then we must strengthen our commitment to this area.


3. Looking for moments to meet together and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ

Services can be on Sunday… or not. Families should foster situations where we can share life with our brethren. Going out to the countryside on Saturday, a weekly cell group in someone’s home, church camps, improvised worship meetings. Since we will be missing some of the spiritual food we can enjoy during the worship service, we must be proactive in looking for fellowship with our family in the faith at other times during the week.


4. An attentive church

Even though the main responsibility falls on the family making this decision, churches, as the communities they are, should pay attention to this reality and try to keep close to families in this kind of situation. Maybe the decision has been theirs, but our commitment to our family in the faith is meeting their needs. It might be the case where the family in question is extremely committed to the Lord, and they have made this decision from a mature position; but that might not always be the case. The fact that a family doesn’t see a problem with not going to church is usually a symptom of a precarious spiritual life. We must be paying attention, as brothers and sisters, to this reality.


5. The integrity of Christian life

To conclude, we—families, churches, pastors—need to convey to our young athletes the message that Christian life is all about integrity, wherever we might be and whatever we might be doing. If you are going to play football, do it to the greater glory of God; play that sport the way Jesus would.


And, of course, if you feel sports are drawing you far from God, maybe it is the moment to take a timeout, seat on the bench and have a talk with the Head Coach.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - - My team had a match today
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

The Impact of the Reformation on the social  reforms The Impact of the Reformation on the social reforms

David Hilborn, Principal, St. John's College, explains how has the Reformation view of justification led to social and political reforms.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.