Posted by: morgan1965 | July 7, 2010

The Choice: Sunday Church or Soccer

My attention was immediately drawn to a recent feature published by the United Methodist News Service titled, “Soccer Sundays: How do churches compete?” As I read the article, I could not help but reflect on our family experience as we reared our two sons, both of whom became exceptional athletes.

The article contains a photo of a young boy sitting in an empty church pew. The caption says “many families must choose between participation in youth sports leagues and attendance at church on Sundays.” The article’s lead sentence says that, “any given weekend, you are more likely to find many American youngsters dressed in a soccer jersey than their Sunday best.” The article goes on to tell how one Indiana United Methodist congregation decided to bring the church to the soccer field. This evangelistic effort met with mixed success, and the congregation discontinued the special worship service after five years.

For many years, the church has been confronted by a growing number of youth sports activities that are conducted on Sunday in conflict with the Sunday worship service schedule. It can be said that church folk are partially complicit in this development, because the church’s children have been allowed to participate in Sunday sports activities. So, we get the question about how churches can compete with “soccer Sundays.”

This issue, church or soccer, is a matter of choice. It is not, however, a choice that our children can make or even be allowed to make on their own. Children should not be allowed to make decisions that they do not have the capacity to make.

As my wife and I were rearing our children, we were confronted by this choice. We did not allow our children to decide whether or not they would attend Sunday school. Neither did we permit them to choose between church and soccer, or any other sport for that matter. We did not believe that they had the capacity to make these kinds of decisions.

We had a basic rule for our sons as it pertained to participation in sporting events that took place on Sunday. The rule was that they could participate in their team’s Sunday events providing that the activity did not conflict with the Sunday worship service. In reality, there were many other alternative opportunities for them to take part in sports activities.

Parents and their children are confronted with making a choice. What will your choice be, church or sports?

As parents, we chose church. This choice, however, did not prevent either son from becoming an outstanding scholar-athlete at the collegiate level in their respective sports.

Think about it!

See Article: www.umc.org

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