A Church intramural sports league is a great way to engage young men in your church. Here are three advantages an intramural league offers over an inter-church sports league.
The Difference Between an Inter-Church & Intramural Sports League
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 joint effort among participating churches and is led by 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.
A Church Intramural Sports League Engages More People
In an Inter-church league, you’ll engage 10 people on your basketball and volleyball team and around 15 for softball. And there’s competition on who makes the team roster and plays.
But in an intramural league, multiply 10 players per team times 4- 8 teams and you engage 40-80 people! So there’s room for everyone that wants to play.
The task of engaging that many people may even sound a bit daunting.
Although it takes work, it can be done. I explain how in my book How to Build a Church Intramural Sports League.
An Intramural Sports League Increases Control
Competition releases the warrior side in men. Rather than discourage it, I plan for and even promote a competitive league environment. But it must be managed.
It’s difficult to exercise control over coaches and players from other churches in an inter-church league. But the players and coaches in an intramural league are your church members.
You recruit and direct the coaches, establish the direction and set expectations of behavior. And you’re the authority who enforces expectations and maintains accountability.
An Intramural Sports League Promotes Community
When different churches compete against one another, the “my church is better than your church” mentality is always present.
But in an intramural league, everyone is from the same church. You worship, pray, study and serve together.
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 in the heat of competition, it’s easier to let it go after the game because there is a greater sense of unity.
So now that you understand the advantages of an intramural sports league and the potential for engaging men in church life, why not start building your league?
About Chip Tudor
Chip Tudor is an author, playwright and pastor. He publishes drama at www.chiptudor.com, books on Amazon.com, and articles on his blog.
Join My E-mail List
And I’ll send you my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. You’ll learn how to punch up your presentations with humor.
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”?
Gary, you make a good point and actually a topic we discuss frequently at our church. And that is the responsibility we have as a large church to share our resources with small congregations. I can assure we that we are intentional about that at Fairhaven Church. At the same time, I’ve organized and led a number of inter-church sports leagues and I always encounter the same competitive attitude: “My church is better than your church.” This competition between churches makes creating community difficult. And I’ve seen it work against the Kingdom in a number of ways. So I guess there is no perfect solution. I will tell you that in creating our intramural leagues I started by building teams and entering them into inter-church leagues. And small churches can use the same process I used to build our leagues. I explain the building process in my book: How to Build a Church Intramural Sports League. It is available as an e-book and hard copy book at Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Build-Church-Intramural-Sports-League-ebook/dp/B01C0P2E4W/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512217258&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=how+o+build+a+church+intramural+sports+league
You can also download an audio book version from my website: https://chiptudor.com/downloads/build-church-intramural-sports-league/