Church Sports Ministry: 3 Advantages Of Intramural Leagues

A church sports ministry is a great way to engage young men in church life and in men’s ministry. And to maximize the level of effectiveness, consider building an intramural league.

The Difference Between an Inter-Church & Intramural Sports League 

Not to insult anyone’s intelligence, but let’s be clear on the difference between an inter-church and intramural league.
In an inter-church league, you form a team—like basketball, softball, volleyball, etc.—from within your church and compete against teams from other churches in your community.

The league is a cooperative effort among participating churches and is governed by a council of representatives from each church.

An intramural league is formed by creating teams from within your congregation. It offers three advantages over an inter-church league.

Intramural Sports Leagues Engage More People

When playing in an Inter-church league, you’ll engage 10 people on your basketball and volleyball team and around 15 for softball. And there’s a sense of competition on who gets to be on the team and play.

But in an intramural league, multiply 10 players per team times 4- 8 teams and you engage 40-80 people! And there’s room for everyone that wants to play.

Engaging that many people even sounds a bit daunting doesn’t it?

Although it takes work, it can be done. I explain how in my e-book How to Build a Church Intramural Sports League.

Intramural Sports Leagues Increase Control

Competition releases the warrior side in men. Rather than discourage it, I plan for and even promote a competitive environment in my church intramural leagues. But it must be managed.

It’s difficult to exercise control over coaches and players from another church in an inter-church league. But the players and coaches in an intramural league are all from your church.

You recruit and direct the coaches, establish the direction and set the expectations of behavior. And you have the authority to enforce those expectations and maintain accountability.

Intramural Sports Leagues Promote Community

When different churches compete against one another, it’s hard to get away from the “my church is better than your church” mentality.

But in an intramural league, you’re all from the same church. You see one another in church on weekends, pray, study and serve together.

In our intramural leagues, we also strategically plan fellowship opportunities during and at the end of the season to promote unity.

Even though you play hard, and perhaps, become a little testy when competing, it’s much easier to let it go after the game of an intramural league because there it a greater sense of unity.

So now that you understand the advantages of a church intramural sports league and the impact it can have on engaging men in church life, why not get started building one at your church?

Chip Tudor is Pastor of Adult Groups at
Fairhaven Church in Dayton, Ohio & has been
a professional copywriter since 1993.

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  1. submitted by Gary Brittain - on December 1 2017

    I like it, Chip. But, a small church may find it difficult to create one team. It seems that inter-church leagues could better serve the whole body of Christ. Big churches sometimes seem to get focused on themselves, because they don’t “need” to be interconnected. Since there is only one church on the planet, wouldn’t an inter-church concept be more kingdom oriented? Shouldn’t a large church make its facilities available to smaller churches in the Acts model of “sharing all things in common”?

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