Nothing has more power on the court that a well planned and delivered basketball devotional. The indoor environment provides a multitude of year-round moments to present the gospel to many players and audience members. If you prepare with prayer and proper packaging, your basketball devotions can be a slam dunk. You can stand at the center of a double gym facility and use the microphone to grab the focus of the entire attendance group. Or you could huddle the players only for a more private presentation where you share your heart, eyeball to eyeball, heart to heart. You could even sit at the end of the bench or huddle in the hall and speak directly to one particular team. Whichever format you choose, a basketball devotional provides you and any other ministerial staff a golden chance to win souls for Christ.
When To Share Basketball Devotions
Pre-game is a good time to gather all the players and referees for an athletic devotional. Remember support personal like officials and scorekeepers can participate as well. The devotional can also be presented in such a way as the catch the attention of arriving spectators as well. I personally enjoy sharing devotionals before the game starts because in my experience the players seemed the most focused on our message. The energy of the impending competition and general respects for authority pre-game (before any conflicts develop) made this the most beneficial window to share a ministry moment in my observation.
Another key time to share a basketball devotion is halftime. Fifty percent of the action has transpired, the players are likely winded but still engaged in the game and likely to be generally respectful to officials and ministry personnel as the game is still unfolding. As a downside, the players may have a beef or be overcome with focus on strategy to effectively hear a word from scripture. The aesthetics can also be tough as sweaty hands and shirts surround you on every side.
Post-game moments can be the most individualized and have the potential to create a real connection. Consider gathering one specific team on their bench following the game, complimenting on the real aspects of their play that you observed, and moving into a devotional thought smoothly and sweetly. Secondly, you could gather in the hallway and request your team to sit against the wall for natural back support. This approach can be especially helpful for communicating with youth teams and the children will have room to roam and fidget while you speak and share with them. This style of basketball devotion is the most memorable and will likely lead to a one on one conversation with at least one player after you finish.
My Best Basketball Devotion
There was one basketball devotion which stands out above all others. Working directly in sports ministry for 5+ years meant that many special ministry moments unfolded in front of me. These magical moments didn’t happen every night, but at divinely determined intervals where The Lord saw to move in such a way that I could see. You won’t believe what the Lord brought me into on a special evening. What I said setup what ensued and the splendid sequence of events that followed.
He had been reserved and tucked away behind his more outgoing teammates, though I knew he’d been listening. Following my message (oh I wish I remember clearly) based perhaps on the sermon on the mount, he followed me back into the stands with a simple request. “Was the church open?”
Of course, we were standing inside the athletic area of the church ( a LARGE mega) and the lights were on so, of course, the church was open, though he meant something more precise. As a visitor to the church (and as a man who admitted to being out of church for years), he wondered if the sanctuary or prayer chambers were accessible by a person with unclean hands. Instantly I replied, “of course the church is open.” With that happy answer, I seized upon the delight in his face and offered to lead him to the inner sanctum personally. This was without a doubt, my best basketball devotion.