“You would never have reached me in a church…but you caught me on the basketball court. Today I am not only a follower of Jesus Christ, but I am a pastor because of the message I heard during the halftime of a Sports Ambassadors game.”
Sports Ambassadors (SA) exists to share the Good News, encourage the pastor and his congregation, edify sports missionaries, and equip the church. Since 1952, SA has been sending sports teams to more than 67 countries and sharing the gospel to more than 11 million spectators. These teams have evangelized many and have encouraged pastors that have needed a partner to help them reach their neighborhood. SA has also stimulated many of the 2,500 Sports Ambassadors athletes to become leaders upon their return home.
See the one of the teams in action here:
There are three levels of involvement with Sports Ambassadors. The first is to go on a three week team trip. Second, commit to one or two years assigned to a country. And third, be a Sports Ministry Specialist assigned to an OC team in Latin America, Asia, Africa, or Europe.
Evangelization of the Lost
- Impact teams such as basketball, volleyball, softball
- Camps, clinics, leagues, coaching
- Adventure sports
- Global community games
- Special events (field days, 10K runs, sports festivals)
- Major sporting events (e.g., Olympic Games, World Cup)
Encouragement of the Pastor
- Motivate, mentor, and encourage pastors and leaders (formally and informally)
- Stimulate and cultivate strategic partnerships
- Edification of the Sports Missionary
- Pre-trip envisioning and training
- Mission trip discipleship
Equipping of the Church
- Facilitate workshops, seminars, and training centers
- Research in order to evaluate and enhance sports ministry evangelism and discipleship
- Recruiting, training, and mentoring church-based and parachurch sports ministry leaders
- What sports do you offer through SA?
Men's and women's basketball and volleyball is offered through SA.
- Who can be a part of an SA team? Any all-star, college, or church team who 1) love God and desire to make Him known and 2) love the sport.
- Can you host a church sports team? A college sports team? Yes! However, some NCAA Division I teams may not be allowed to travel. Contact the SA department to find out if your team is eligible.
- What is required of me on the trip? Your team will have the opportunity to play lots of games, host skill clinics, and share the love of Jesus to local people. Each player will need to have their testimony ready to share at any given half-time performance.
- Are there try-outs? No. There is only an application process and references required.
- How do I apply? You can apply by printing out the PDF form and sending it in, or call to request an application. Contact the OC Sports Ambassadors department at 800.676.7837 or email at SA@oci.org.