Football Practice on Sunday Morning

I was driving to church on Sunday and en route is our local high school. 

As I drove by the football field, I saw something that saddened me.  The football team was having practice during church hours.  And after church, I noticed on the way home, that there were still practicing. 

In my newest book, "Fertile Soil...see kids' faith grow and flourish for a lifetime," I address this. Here are few notes from the book.

One of the thorns that is choking out the faith of the next generation is sports. Interesting enough, Little League baseball participation is down. The number of players in the Southeast Region of Little League is down 43 percent since 2007. So where are the kids going to play? The vast majority of them are playing on private clubs. 

Time magazine has covered this extensively and even had it as the front cover of two of their issues. The report from Time magazine brought to light some interesting statistics.

• The youth sports industry has grown by 55% since 2010.

• Families are spending more than 10% of their annual household income on registration fees, travel,       camps and equipment.

• Overall, youth sports is a $15 billion dollar industry.

• Many parents put their children on competitive teams with the hope that they can get an athletic scholarship one day. But the truth is only 2% of high school athletes go on to play for a NCAA Division 1 school. 

 • Vacation time is being used to attend sports tournaments. The phrase “tournacation” was recently coined to describe families using their vacation time to be in sports. Don’t take me wrong on this. I am not against sports. I played baseball, basketball and football growing up. But not on Sunday. There was a rule in our family we do not play games on Sunday. That is not the situation now. It’s normal to have games on Sunday. 

Especially if you are on a “travel” team. Kids and parents can be out of church for weeks and even months. Church used to be a top priority. Families used to wake up on Sunday morning and it was a given they were going to church. No discussion. Church was their top priority. For many families that is not the case any more. Too many other things choke out the priority of church.I believe that when families skip church they are entering a slippery slope. 

They are sending a message to their children that church is not important. They are also sending a message to their children that says church is just another option on Sunday and participation is optional. They are sending a message to their children that Jesus is not Lord. They are sending a message to their children that Jesus is not their first passion.

You can get the Fertile Soil book on Amazon or at this link