Crime, Murder, Abuse, Racism, Scandal, Corruption. Every day our newspapers, the Internet and television tell the depressing, and sometimes tragic story of a world and its people that is far from realizing its created purpose.
Many athletes and coaches, once thought to be ideal role models for today’s youth, are swept up in a culture that seems to have abandoned limits and a moral compass for a “win at all cost” mentality. In the end the sports pages are no different than the front pages of our newspapers
For billions of people, the stadiums of the world serve as houses of worship. Whether on a sandlot or in a stadium, where there is a scoreboard, there is a crowd. Fans gather to cheer on their favorite team – be it professional, collegiate or Little League.
Sports is a universal language with the powerful ability to shape a culture, heal a nation, break down political, racial and economic barriers and restore national pride. Children dream of being the next LeBron James, Peyton Manning or Serena Williams. Sports speak a language that children around the world understand.
Since 1966, AIA has committed to sharing a Victory beyond Competition that is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Athletes and coaches around the world who are experiencing this life-changing relationship are telling the story of Jesus – to their teammates and fellow coaches, to hurting and needy people through their words and acts of compassion and kindness, and to the millions of people through the media. Over 650 staff members and 7,500 volunteers in 94 countries boldly proclaim Jesus Christ, deeply equip believers to lead and urgently mobilize ambassadors of Good News and Good Will in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
As societies around the world look up to athletes as heroes, they must find those heroes looking up to God!
The global vision and mission of AIA is supported by the following commitments and strategies:
Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), exists to boldly proclaim the love and truth of Jesus Christ to those uniquely impacted by sport worldwide by winning, building, and sending athletic influencers.
AIA was founded in 1966 by David Hannah, who desired to capitalize on society's great love of sports and utilize the platform given to athletes to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Included in the ministry efforts of AIA are ministry to college and professional athletes and coaches. International competing teams partner with in-country staff and other missions organizations to resource ministry around the world. AIA's media tools and materials expose millions of sports fans to the Gospel each year.
Cru is an interdenominational ministry committed to helping take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. We cooperate with millions of Christians from churches of many denominations and hundreds of other Christian organizations around the world to help Christians grow in their faith and share the Gospel message with their fellow countrymen. Working together with these fellow believers, our goal for this decade is to help give every man, woman, and child in the entire world an opportunity to find new life in Jesus Christ. Our commitment is based on our Lord's command:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20 (NAS)