Sports evangelism tournament set to kick off in March

Caption: True Promises Football team 

Sports Evangelism Promoters Association ( SEPA) is set to launch a football tournament for faith-based groups, including choirs and various ministries.

The aim of this initiative is to reach out to many people in the community with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The first-of-its kind, the tournament is slated for March 2024 and its first edition will feature six local renowned ministries, including True Promises ministries, Alarm ministries, Light of the Earth ministries, Abanaziri ministries, Injili Bora and Calvary Wide Fellowship Ministries.

Vagne Muneza, Technical Director of Sports Evangelism Promoters Association, explained that the tournament is a continuous project to be held three times a year, with the first edition commencing on March 2 and running through March 30.

The second edition will be held in June, while the third edition will take place in September under the title, ‘Christmas Football Challenge cup.’

The debut edition will see all teams categorized into two groups: Group A and Group B.

Group A will feature Abanaziri, Light of the Earth and True Promises ministries, while Group B will feature Injiri Bora, Alarm Ministries and Calvary Wide Fellowship ministries.

It is expected that True Promises ministries will face Light of the Earth ministries at the official opening of the tournament on March 2, at the former KIE ( College of Education) in Remera starting from 3pm.

Muneza revealed that the idea to use sports as an approach to spread the gospel came into his mind when he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in sports at the University of Rwanda.

Muneza, a sports teacher and a referee at aRwandan top level football league, recalls how sports was a very productive approach for evangelism when they practised it at GBUR (Groupe Biblique Universitaire du Rwanda). GBUR is an Evangelical, inter-denominational and para-church Organization bringing together students and graduates from higher learning institutions of Rwanda.

“By experience, I realise that sports is a good strategy to expand evangelism beyond ministering in churches. Football is one of the most popular disciplines and can be a good way to reach out to many people in the community, especially those who rarely go to church,” he said.

A lot of worshippers are very talented in playing football and can use such talents to reach out to many people with the good news of Christ, he noted.

Muneza believes that through the tournament, a big number of people will turn out eagerly to meet their favourite teams whom most of the time they watch on televisions or listen to their songs from Radios.  

Based on the popularity football has among Rwandans, Muneza affirmed that football tournaments are a good tool to attract many people from different backgrounds including the unsaved.

“Football is a favorite game for players and fans. We want to bring them together to enjoy the competition and take this opportunity to share them with the gospel,” he said.

At every game, there will be an opening short sermon by a selected pastor.

Regarding the awards, Muneza said that 3 best performing teams and best players of the tournament will be highly recognised.

He invited everyone to come and enjoy this prestigious tournament.