BASKETBALL DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL
Begins: September 11th, 2013
Sports are a powerful thing. They bring unity and they bring division. That is not surprising considering the loyalty cities and countries feel towards their teams. One sport, which also happens to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world, was created to bring unity. Basketball was invented to bring Unity for Christ.
James Naismith, a Christian theologian, invented basketball in 1891 as a way to bring kids off the streets and into the gymnasium so relationships could be built and the gospel modeled and shared. After countless hours in the gym trying to combine football, soccer and other sports, basketball was born.
Now over a century later, basketball has changed the world and the lives of many. While many of the changes are good, some are, well, bad. What was created to win souls for Christ now is fertile soil for greed, pride, etc. We want to change that. We desire to use basketball for which it was invented: winning souls to Christ.
Do you love basketball? Do you want to grow in your relationship with Christ and live out the gospel through evangelism?
Our basketball DTS focuses on sharing the love of Christ through basketball. The students will have the opportunities to play at the inner-city parks and recreation centers of Pittsburgh and then by using camps and tournaments share the love of God in other nations around the world.
Our instructors include NBA Player Chris Taft and other coaches and college players. Each week of lecture phase is filled with class topics such as Hearing the Voice of God, The Father Heart of God, Inductive Bible Study and Missions. This lecture phase of the DTS will run alongside our Urban DTS & Refined Beauty DTS.
The outreach will be spent playing and teaching Basketball to all ages and using the game to share the love of Christ. Each day will be filled with pick-up games, clinics, and tournaments always accompanied with sharing of the gospel and discipleship. If you are interested please contact us for more information.
"An Evangelistic Slam Dunk"
The Roots of Basketball
By Chuck Colson
"Here’s a good trivia question for you. Which major sport was invented as an evangelistic tool? Find out.
It was the basketball game for the ages. On Monday night, the Duke University Blue Devils survived a desperate, last-second shot by the underdog Butler University Bulldogs to win the NCAA men's basketball championship.
It was a great game-a classic "David and Goliath" matchup, given that Duke has appeared in eight championship games under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and that Butler had never even made it to the Final Four.
You may hear folks talking about the game for some time. When you do, you can add to the conversation by revealing an interesting fact: Basketball was invented more than 100 years ago by a Christian theologian as an evangelical outreach tool.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, one of our Centurions, John Murray, recalled the story of the game's founding. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, became convinced that he stood a better chance of exemplifying the Christian life through sports rather than through preaching. So he took a job as a physical education instructor at the YMCA's International Training School for Christian Workers in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith's vision was "to win men for the Master through the gym."
In 1891, Naismith set out to invent a new indoor game that students could play during winter. He spent weeks testing various games, including versions of soccer, football, and lacrosse, to no avail. "Finally," Murray writes, "Naismith decided to draw from all of these sports: with a ball that could be easily handled, play that involved running and passing with no tackling, and a goal at each end of the floor." In short, he came up with basketball.
From the beginning, Naismith and his athletic director, Luther Gulick, held the players to a high standard. As Gulick wrote in 1897, "The game must be kept clean." A Christian college cannot tolerate "not merely ungentlemanly treatment of guests, but slugging and that which violates the elementary principles of morals." He recommended that a coach should "excuse for the rest of the year any player who is not clean in his play."
Basketball served as an important evangelical tool during the next 50 years, Murray noted. In 1941, Naismith wrote that "whenever I witness games in a church league, I feel that my vision, almost half a century ago, of the time when the Christian people would recognize the true value of athletics, has become a reality."
In the last 100 years, we've seen no shortage of Christian athletes who use their skill, self-discipline, and sportsmanship as a witness to Christ-from Olympic runner Eric Liddel in the 1920s, to football player Tim Tebow in our own generation.
In fact, so many athletes give the glory to God after a game that sportswriters sometimes get irritated with them. To which I respond: Which would you prefer-players known for their faith and good sportsmanship, or players who are arrested for assault or drug use?
If you have a young basketball fan in your family, tell him or her the story of how basketball was invented. And pray for Christian players who can use the public's love of sports the way Naismith envisioned when he invented basketball-as a witnessing tool to "win men for the Master through the gym."