Monday, 23 May 2016
Preaching on Sunday mornings is just one part of being a pastor. Meet Pastor Pradit from Thailand, a man who takes the role of coach as seriously as he takes his role in the church!
Pastor Pradit came to the first ever Sports Friends Basic Training held in Thailand. His church caught the vision, and in the seven years since they’ve developed three sports ministry teams for youth of different ages: 12-14, 15-16, and 17+. More than 90% of the population in Pastor Pradit’s community identifies as Buddhist. He believes sports ministry is a useful tool for investing in youth and sharing about the one true God who loves them.
“I wanted to give young people the opportunity that my generation never had as a kid – to have a coach who cares for them and teaches them,” Pastor Pradit says. “I have seen the impact sports ministry has had over the last seven years – some of my kids are now studying Bible, one is a pastor already, and many lives have been transformed. Even though some kids aren’t allowed to go to church and must continue to go to the temple instead, the transformation that has happened on the inside is something that can never be taken away from them.”
The teams from Pastor Pradit’s church meet most days during the week. Gathering at the church fields or at the local school, they come together for a time of fun, learning and fellowship. Often times the older kids will help teach the younger ones.
“We’ve seen kids’ lives transformed and their behavior and character changed, slowly but surely,” Pastor Pradit says. “They can’t help but be impacted by the godly influence they get in their lives each day!”
Because of the powerful effect sports ministry has had in his community, Pastor Pradit’s church has a vision to plant a daughter church, one full of young people! He wants the church to be mission-focused with a football field – doing sports ministry in Thailand and also across country borders into Myanmar and Laos.
If Pastor Pradit could use only one word to describe his experience as a Sports Friends coach, he said it would be “friendship.”
“The thing that is different about Sports Friends is how [the staff] builds relationships with their coaches. Even seven years later, I still feel very connected with them and I’m great friends with the Sports Friends team. They don’t just run trainings, but they care about what happens in the days, weeks, months, and years afterwards.”
To Pastor Pradit, the on-going relationships have made all the difference.
“Not all ministries are like that,” he says.
Not all coaches have shown such long-term commitment and dedication to their teams, either! We’re thankful for passionate sports ministry leaders like Pastor Pradit!
If you're interested in how you can use your love for sports to furthur God's kingdom - we'd love to hear from you. You can leave us an enquiry here.
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.