Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Other Sports Church

The Sports Church in Snohomish (or Lake Stevens) is a little different from the one in Vancouver.

Now ministries in Vancouver and Lake Stevens, Washington, are...launching a weekly "Sports Church," which invites participants to watch football, socialize and listen to a spiritual message at halftime.

"We've got a bunch of people out here that are sick and tired of church," said D.J. Rabe, a Lake Stevens resident who is bringing the idea to Snohomish. "Our goal is to redefine it."

Rabe and his wife Dottie say Sports Church will be an outreach of a new church they're bringing to Snohomish, called The House....

They're modeling it after the House Northwest, which Mike Unverzagt started in Vancouver 20 months ago....

[Unverzagt] will launch Sports Church in Vancouver on Sept. 9, the opening day of the NFL season.

The event is geared specifically towards men, who are invited to meet at a sports pub on Sunday mornings for the game.

There will be no singing - since guys aren't usually into that.

"Men for the most part aren't attracted to attending church," Unverzagt said. "We make people come to us, dress like us, sound like us, be like us to fit in. My heart really is: Let's go to the people. Let's go to where they are. Let's not make them change to come to us."

Rabe's Sports Church, which begins Sept. 10, is more family-oriented.

"My son can't go into a bar," he said.

Participants will gather at the Boys and Girls Club in Snohomish. They'll watch Monday Night Football each week throughout football season, and cap things off with a Superbowl party.

The Snohomish Boys and Girls Club will also be the site of his Saturday night church services, which begin Sept. 15.

Interesting - the outreach church (the Monday Sports Church) will actually start before the "main" church (the Saturday House). Too often we get into planning and worrying about stuff, but Rabe just went ahead and thrust his message out there.

Rabe himself may still be consulting, so it's good to see what he believes is his consulting mission:

Helping to fulfill the Great Commission by partnering with individuals, local churches, and ministry organizations in strategic ministry planning and implimentation in order to effectively reach unchurched people in our communities and around the world.

And he's received an endorsement for his consulting work:

I want to recommend to you DJ Rabe for pulpit ministry because he is a qualified minister of the Gospel with a heart to serve the local body. With both experience in ministry and business, DJ skillfully ministers inside and outside the local church. I've attended meetings in which DJ has led and ministered and he is gifted in bringing the word of God to all. He has an abundant supply of enthusiasm that will rub off on your people.

Pastor Mike Unverzagt
The House Northwest
Vancouver, Washington

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