A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity: a post Olympic legacy for sports mission through local church ministry in the UK

Introduction

The London Olympics appear to have made a significant impact on the outlook of UK churches. At the time of writing over 3,000 local churches in the UK have signed up for involvement in the More Than Gold (MTG) movement which holds that “the churches in the UK have a once in a lifetime opportunity thanks to the 2012 Games being awarded to
London. We are here to be a one-stop-shop that helps the churches seize the moment.” [1] The mission of MTG is “to enable the UK churches to engage with the 2012 Games” [2] and its vision is that “when the dust has finally settled we hope to have fulfilled our dream for the 2012 Games to have enabled thousands of churches to taste the excitement of reaching their community in fresh and ongoing ways in Jesus’ name.” [3] MTG holds that, “all too often the churches are seen negatively, as out of touch and only interested in themselves. The 2012 Games provides a unique opportunity for UK churches to be seen for what they really are.” [4] MTG aims to achieve this transformation in a range of ways but here is a primary way which is helpful in re-enforcing the centrality of the local church in sports ministry. MTG aims to support local churches by “making connections between the many agencies and thousands of churches that can make it happen” [5]

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