I’m still battling the flu so I’ve got another repost. In light of the Super Bowl this weekend, here are some of the most Christian sports.
Christians are all sinners living under grace so we really don’t have that much to boast about. So Christians love friendly competition because it gives us the opportunity to boast. Here are some favorite Christian sports that give us the opportunity to boast.
It’s unclear whether Ultimate Frisbee is played on more church campuses or college campuses. Whatever the answer, though, Ultimate Frisbee is clearly a favorite of the Christian community. Ultimate Frisbee is more of an equal opportunity game than baseball or football; it doesn’t require as much athletic ability or natural coordination as more mainstream sports. Most everyone has thrown a Frisbee at some point in their lives. Ultimate Frisbee turns that familiarity into a communal event that is fun for all.
But not really.
As happens in mainstream sports, the most athletic and the most talented eventually dominate the game. What started out as a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee turns into Christian frat guys running full speed, designing intricate plays and playing with the ferocity of Samson slaying the lion. These ultimate Ultimate Frisbee players end up ruining the game for everyone else, especially the reclusive nerd who finally made his way into the light to participate in a community that didn’t involve virtual elves and mages.
I don’t know if golf is really a Christian sport but it is definitely a pastor sport. I was given my own set of golf clubs within the first few months of becoming a pastor. Golf clubs are as much a part of the pastor’s uniform as cargo shorts are a part of the youth pastor’s uniform.
Christians, including pastors, like golf because it provides lots of opportunities to boast. Christians shouldn’t boast about their jobs, kids, families, finances or cars; we’re not supposed to be prideful about those things. When it comes to golf, though, there’s a little wiggle room to be boastful. Christians can boast about their handicap or their most recent round’s score. Christians can subtly boast by name-dropping the courses they’ve played. And obviously, if they’ve made one, they can boast about their hole-in-one. I’ve never hit a hole-in-one but I would be much more boastful had I ever played the Hole-in-One (or Two) game on the Price is Right.
Volleyball is another Christian game like Ultimate Frisbee. It starts out as couple of friends setting up a net at the beach or the park and quickly devolves into the scene from Top Gun. Instead of friends just having fun, the competition level rises and everyone starts playing like Maverick and Ice Man. Smiles turn to grimaces and the steely stares of the competitors are visible even through their darkened aviators.
I’ve played a lot of Christian volleyball and I haven’t always acted like Jesus. I suppose I did act like Jesus in that I treated the volleyball court like the Temple and my teammates like the money changers. I’ve spent my life working out my salvation but I can’t boast about that. So I’ve put a lot of effort into becoming an average volleyball player and I want to win so I can boast about that. Winning at Christian volleyball could only be improved by Steven Curtis Chapman covering “Playing With the Boys”.
Sports provide a great opportunity to form community so the sports Christians play should be accessible to everybody. Sports like baseball and football eventually exclude people based upon ability; Christian sports should include everyone regardless of ability. Some Christians are the rocket arm of the body of Christ; some Christians are the two left feet of the body of Christ. The games we play should be accessible to both.
What are some of your favorite Christian sports?
Thanks to Justin for the idea for this post.