I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now. We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community. We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following story to be a blessing.
When I was a kid and had summers off from school my parents had one goal: to get me out of the house. Every day I was commanded to “go outside and play!” My mom didn’t ask where I was going or who I’d be with. As long as I was home by dark and didn’t have any broken bones the day was a success. Times have changed and kids don’t spend as much time running around the neighborhood anymore. Today’s kid has long-term goals. I don’t think my generation planned much past what was on television that week. Now they have organized activities, scheduled play dates and summer skills camps.
When I was nine years old we lived in an apartment complex with other low-income families. A local church had a bus ministry that went around and invited kids to Sunday School and Children’s Church. Sunday morning with no kids at home – my mom couldn’t jump at that offer fast enough. She may have given a special offering to have the bus driver take the long way home.
It was the first time in my life that I heard about Jesus from someone other than my grandmother. I remember being told that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” – Romans 8:23. Maybe I was an especially naughty nine year old but I had no trouble believing that I was a sinner. And when we were asked if we wanted to receive Jesus in our hearts that day I raised my hand.
One of the ministry workers split us up so each child could get one-on-one attention with a teacher to read the scriptures about salvation and pray. My teacher gave me a little white Bible with a zipper. I got born again that day at eight years old on an empty school bus at a church I don’t remember with a teacher whose name I’ve never known. One day in heaven I will be able to thank her.
Shortly after I was born again my whole family got saved and we moved to another state. As far as I know the church never knew that they were responsible for the salvation of four people through that little bus ministry. They were just being obedient to spread the gospel in their community. Here at Calvary Temple we have many events designed to spread the gospel in our community.
One of our most popular outreach events is our summer Sports Camps. We start inviting families to our Basketball, Cheerleading and Soccer Camps in the spring. Even our youth group gets involved as we hand out over twelve thousand flyers and tracts door-to-door. If you live in the Sterling area you know what I’m talking about!
Our congregation works very hard to prepare for the event so that everything will run smoothly for our visitors. Many people take off time from their jobs so they can help prepare the fields, courts and equipment. They help with the registration table and parent’s hospitality station. Some take vacation time so they can be available to coach the kids or visit with the parents.
Each day camp opens with a word of prayer then a time of ministry. It could be a skit performed by our youth group, a game that teaches a bible lesson or a guest speaker will share their testimony with the kids. Then its time to review the scripture of the day. After that the kids are split up into their teams and spend the next two hours going through their stations. Each station teaches a various aspect of that sport – offense, defense, dribbling, passing. I don’t know what any of these things mean so thank God I am not a coach! If we ever have a baking camp I am your girl. You will find me at the frosting station.
Then there will be a scrimmage where the kids get to put their new skills into play. At the end of the day the coaches review the scripture of the day one more time then give out the daily awards. We like to give out awards so there will be a lot of them. A lot. Each camper gets a t-shirt on Monday that volunteers take care of and wash each day when they leave. On Friday, the kids take them home as souvenirs. Each day the kids also get memory verse cards with a story and Bible message to take home.
On Friday, we ask the parents to stay for lunch and give out the weekly awards. Did I mention how much we like awards? This is a great opportunity for the parents to spend time with the coaches and volunteers and get caught up on the highlights of the week. The whole purpose for the sports camps is to share the gospel and present the love of Jesus to the kids and families in our community. The kids get to have a great time and learn some skills for basketball, cheerleading and soccer in the process.
Our attendance is growing. This year we had more kids than ever before.
- Basketball Camp – 160 kids
- cheerleading Camp – 45 kids
- Soccer Camp – 218 kids
That’s a lot of seed sown for the kingdom. The coaches had opportunity to pray with several of the kids. I wonder how many of those kids will be born again and look back on our little sports camp ministry as the first time they heard the gospel of Jesus. I wish I could give each one of them a little zippered Bible.
If you’d like to know more about Calvary Temple Sports Camps and outreach in Sterling VA let me know by leaving me a comment below.
About Calvary Temple
Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.
Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.