I love Ultimate Frisbee and this summer I had the joy of leading some small-scale Ultimate Frisbee outreach events in Sapporo. Sam, my Serve Asia worker, and I partnered with a few local churches to run events where we taught the basics of the sport. We played in parks, in sports halls, and by a river (sheltering from the intermittent rain in a tent). And in between teaching how to play frisbee, we talked about the good news of Jesus.
I was raised in a Christian home, but it was through the captain of my university’s Ultimate Frisbee team that I came to really understand what it meant to follow Jesus in every area of my life. Playing sports has always been a key part of how I grow as a Christian, so for me it’s natural to talk about Jesus as I teach people about Ultimate.
But one of the great things about sports is that many lessons that apply to playing, also apply to life. So as I taught the basics of how to make a disc fly straight and introduced concepts of working as a team to create space and get flow going, I shared how respecting your opponent and playing within the rules is what Jesus taught us to do when he told us to love our neighbour.
Teaching Ultimate Frisbee as a gospel ministry is not a bait and switch technique—getting people in with the promise of learning a new sport, and then hitting them with a Bible talk—it’s about showing how faith and sports belong together. Because it is the gospel that teaches us how to love God and love people in every area of our lives, including when we’re learning how to throw a plastic disc.
By Levi, an OMF missionary