Share the Gospel Using Sports Illustrations

Stonebriar Community Church’s Baseball/Softball Camp was this week and I knew today was the day that the gospel would be presented. I could not wait for the Sports Outreach Director to give me a call. I was the first person he called to tell me all about the exciting events of the day.

First of all, he began the camp day focused on explaining to the campers the concept of sacrifice. As a captivating illustration he told the story of the college softball player who hit a home run recently and tore her ACL while running the bases. The only way for her to get credit for the first home run of her career was for the players on the other team to sacrifice what ended up being their postseason hopes to help the other team score runs by carrying the injured player around the bases lowering her just enough to touch the base until they all reached home.

As Coach C was telling the story two coaches carried a college student around the bases allowing him to touch each base for what was a creative and amazing way to communicate sacrifice. Coach C knew that he would later in the day refer back to that illustration when he spoke of the gospel, the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When it was time to communicate the gospel to the campers, Coach C continued with a creative, yet clear and simple presentation of the gospel. He explained the concept of “sin” as described in Romans 3:23 as “falling short of the glory of God” by hitting four consecutive home runs (an impressive feat of strength) and then turning to the campers and saying that it is like trying to hit a baseball to the moon. Some people hit home runs in life and think that they have made it, but the truth from God’s Word is that none of us measure up to God’s perfect standard. We are all sinners.

He then explained that according to Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death”, meaning that we deserve to be eternally separated from God. He used the illustration of the high salaries in baseball to capture the short attention spans of the kids. They could all understand that wages were something we earn, and that because of our sin problem we earn death.

He then moved from the bad news to the Good News. Romans 5:8 says that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He then referred back to the illustration of sacrifice, of the team sacrificing their entire season and hopes of winning a championship by their selfless action of carrying the injured player around the bases. He relayed to the campers that Christ sacrificed his life for everyone of them and rose from the dead, conquering sin and restoring their relationship with God if they would only believe.

Coach C closed by asking every child a simple question. Is there anything that is keeping you from trusting Christ right now? He used the illustration of each child trusting the bleachers that they were sitting on to hold them up, and that all that they have to do is believe in Christ and trust him for their salvation. When a number of the young people indicated that they had trusted Christ, Coach C said he had to fight back tears of joy that the God would use his humble servant to share the gospel with the children that now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will spend eternity in heaven.

That is it. A clear and simple gospel presentation with sports illustrations. For more information and resources on how to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, contact EvanTell, a parachurch organization that is committed to the careful handling of scripture, a core doctrine of grace, and to a clear and simple gospel shared from generation to generation.


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