Read a parents perspective on youth sports and more.
ABA News December 2018
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God." He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
-2 Corinthians 5:20-21
A parents perspective on youth sports
Britt Ehlers (far left) coaching his daughter's team
“We can push ourselves beyond places of comfort because we know that Jesus is our savior and is taking care of everything that matters,” Britt Ehlers said.
The Ehlers family has used this truth to guide their decisions in sports and life. They crafted a family mission statement that they could refer back to when struggling with a big decision, or when they felt themselves getting caught up in the moment.
As a family, we participate in sports to glorify God—by using the talents that he has given us, pushing through our struggles and sharing the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. Through sports, God has given our family the ability to:
Love others by being a great teammate, encouraging those around us, expressing gratitude and humility and recognizing the talents that God has given to the people surrounding us;
Push through our fears and anxieties by trusting God’s love for us and not letting ourselves shy away from embarrassment, failure and discomfort;
Appreciate the process, whether it is the development and growth of our skills, our faith or our relationships;
Recognize that there is a limit to what we can do in terms of our effort and talent, but seek to find that limit every time we engage in an activity and take great joy when we do; and
Share the Word of God, openly speaking of our own shortcomings and God’s substitution of Jesus Christ in our place.
When these things happen, we will give all of the credit and thanks to God. When they don’t, we will acknowledge our own weakness and failure.
The Ehlers' felt that ABA would be a great way for them to live out that mission statement.
“The purpose of ABA is not to build the name of ABA. Just like the purpose of our family participating in sports is not to build the name of our family, it is to try to point people to Jesus and see that there is a much richer, fuller life because of the security we have in Jesus,” Britt said.
Sports are a great metaphor for life and give kids a relatively safe place to experience failure and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
“Sports allow us to experience that failure and to see that no matter how hard we try the world is always going to put something else out there that we have to achieve. Playing with a Christian worldview, the prize isn’t in the end game of whether you win or lose or what you accomplish, it’s in the relationship and the opportunity to glorify God.” Britt said.
Britt has not only seen how sports impact his kids and the kids he coaches, it has also caused him to grow.
“It is easy to get caught up in the idea that my kids deserve something. Whether it's playing time, success, winning, or to be on a better team,” he said. As a parent he has to remind himself that God loves his kids more than he does and that God desires for their well-being more than he does.
He has also struggled with getting his own personal identity caught up in the success of his kids and how they perform. It can be difficult to trust God when we want to make things "fair."
"It just shows how foolish we are, we sit there and want to establish everything as fair and we just can't do it. We are sinners, we are flawed," he said.
This is a great reminder as parents to encourage and support their children and to keep in perspective the real purpose of youth sports.
"To love someone, is to long for and desire the best for someone else even at a great personal sacrifice to yourself. Jesus is the ultimate model of that," Britt said.
ABA is very blessed to have the wisdom of Britt Ehlers serving on the basketball leadership team and coaching the 7th Grade Boys Gold Team. Please continue to pray for all of our coaches, parents and kids, that ABA would be an avenue for people to do sports differently, with a Christian Worldview.
Praise God for the work he is doing through ABA
"Our son is having a wonderful time! The coaching is amazing, but what has touched our hearts even more is that our son has voluntarily been praying at dinner and bedtime which is something he was reluctant to do before basketball. Personally I think he sees his coaches and other boys praying and it encourages him to try. So if for nothing else - ABA is a win for us for that!"
ABA Baseball Kickoff Event
This will be a great time for the baseball family to come together and celebrate the upcoming season with fun and games. Most importantly, the Gospel will be shared by a Special Guest! The event will take place Thursday, January 3rd.