A Tournament to Support Champions for Christ

May 12, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Aaron S. Harris

Chances are that you’ve probably been hearing more about mission trip opportunities since the start of the year.  Maybe your church is sending a team to Kenya or helping with the ongoing recovery efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Perhaps, your Pastor has been encouraging you to step outside of your comfort zone this year and to do your part to help participate in fulfilling The Great Commission.  Few would disagree that the thought of going abroad is an exciting idea.  And, many would agree that a mission trip is an adventure waiting to happen that couples the goal of spreading the word with helping those in need.

Each year, thousands upon thousands of Christians answer the call and venture into uncharted territory as missionaries.  It is often reported that first-time missionaries return with more focus and an appreciation that can only be gained from serving abroad.  This time of spiritual growth is certainly one of the benefits for churches sending teams around the globe each year.  But, most of these trips are short-term in nature.  The trips typically range from a couple of days to a few weeks in length.  In some instances, these initial trips lead believers to go a step further and continue their mission work on a full-time basis.
In the early 2000’s, two couples from Johnson Ferry Baptist Church (JFBC) in Marietta, Georgia decided to do exactly that.  They answered the call to pursue mission work full-time and spread the word to remote parts of the world.  Five years ago, JFBC took action to support these missionaries and began developing a creative solution to get their local community and congregation involved.  To help support both missionary couples and future teams in their life-changing endeavors, JFBC targeted sports fans specifically.  Their focused efforts gave birth to an annual fundraiser called the "Share the Rock" 3on3 basketball tournament. ShareTheRockLogoSmall

Prior to the inaugural event, JFBC held a competition to come up with the name of the tournament.  The winning submission came from Mark Gravel, a member of the Pathfinder’s Bible Study class within JFBC.  Mark shared his inspiration for the name.  “Share the Rock” was a great play on words. In street ball, “the rock” is slang for the ball, but in Christianity “the Rock” is a term of strength referring to Jesus Christ. It was a perfect moniker for the tournament. The clear reference to basketball blending seamlessly with the true purpose of the tournament – Pathfinders wanted to share Christ with the world through missions via proceeds from the basketball competition. Isaiah 26:4 was chosen as the tournament’s theme verse. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock.” (AMP)

Since its early beginnings, the momentum has continued to build year after year with proceeds more than tripling since the first event.  This fundraiser has seen sponsorship grow from a handful of organizations and individuals the first year to more than 24 presently.  In addition, close to thirty teams are expected to participate in this year’s competition.

It is inspiring to hear stories about God using ordinary people to positively impact people around the planet.  The success of this fundraising initiative is just another example of God taking a simple idea and enabling it to blossom into something much bigger for His Glory. When we keep our focus on Christ and seek first His Kingdom, we open the door for Him to use us to bring light to our dark world. So, whether you feel like supporting a mission trip, going abroad, or serving strategically in your own back yard, challenge yourself to answer the call. 

Let us be Champions for Christ in our homes, in our schools, in our jobs, and in our world.

The 5th Anniversary of the Share the Rock 3on3 Basketball Tournament will take place on Saturday, February 24th, 2007.  Johnson Ferry Baptist Church will host the fundraising event and is located at 955 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta, GA.  To register for the tournament, visit www.jfbc.org/sharetherock/registration.aspx.  The deadline for registration is 5:00 PM on February 16th, 2007.  To learn more about sponsoring this event, visit: www.jfbc.org/sharetherock/sponsor.aspx.


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