With the 2010 Winter Olympics underway in Vancouver, Next Generation Christian leaders in Ukraine are wasting no time in planning outreach and evangelistic events for the world’s second largest soccer championship games, the Poland and Ukraine Euro 2012 soccer championships.
In the fall, leaders in ministry, missions and the media met for the second time as part of the Global Euro 1.2.3. project. This meeting took place at Russian Ministries’ ministry and training center in Irpen, Ukraine, just outside of Kiev.
The purpose of Global Euro 1.2.3. is to mobilize national local churches and Christian organizations for evangelism, to train leaders who can clearly share God’s Word, and to raise up a new generation of young Christian leaders who will have a gospel influence on all aspects of life and society.
“The main reason for the project is to use the European soccer championships as a chance for evangelism,” declared Sergey Moskovka, coordinator of Global Euro 1.2.3. “In 2012, all of Ukraine will be talking about this event. Why shouldn’t Christians use it for evangelism?”
Moskovka also pointed out that sports ministries are just starting to catch on in churches in Ukraine. From Moskovka’s perspective, a few of the more progressive churches in large cities are involved in sports ministry. “The church leadership needs to know what to do and how to reach people for Christ through something as simple as soccer. Christians must come out of their churches and work in society,” emphasized Moskovka.
Global Euro 1.2.3. was initiated by the International Sports Coalition, which has experience in organizing outreach at major sporting events. Other partner organizations include the Association for Spiritual Renewal (Russian Ministries’ in-country affiliate), Athletes in Action, House of Treasures and Our Heritage.
Outreach events could include showing soccer games on large screen TVs, Christian athletes sharing their testimonies, running different sports competitions and more. These organizations are exploring strategic ways the churches in Ukraine can share the gospel during Euro 2012.
“This project gives every young Christian an opportunity to testify openly about his or her faith in Jesus Christ,” said Roman Rakhuba, a representative of the Association for Spiritual.
Stefan Reshko, head of the disciplinary committee of the Soccer Federation of Ukraine, agrees. “Euro 2012 will give all Christians the opportunity to share the message of Christ’s love with people who do not know Him. There will be delegates from various countries there, and the attention of our nation will be turned to this event.”
Ultimately, Global Euro 1.2.3. is a call to unite Christian organizations, the media, and churches in proclaiming the hope of Jesus to a lost society. It’s also a strategic opportunity for Christians to serve both athletes and fans, who will travel from other countries and cities to the soccer championships.
Anna Stepanchuk reported on Global 1.2.3. from Russian Ministries’ ministry center in Irpen, Ukraine.