“Typically guys interact better when we are doing something with our hands [such as] tennis or golf,” said Rev. Christopher Allen of Mill Creek (Wash.) Community Christian Reformed Church. For Allen, a Saturday morning tennis tournament was an opportunity for men’s ministry. Allen said he chose tennis over golf because tennis is easy to teach and it is much cheaper.
On September 12, several men of differing tennis abilities gathered for a singles competition. “Our main focus is to just have fun and connect. We want these connections to feel organic rather than forced,” said Allen.
Although men came for a good workout and healthy competition, relationships among the men were strengthened. “After the tourney, all the men were chatting about their weekend and some shared a prayer concern. We then laid hands on them in prayer. It was unexpected but felt very natural. It was a God moment. Suddenly the group had a more interpersonal dynamic,” said Allen.
The men plan on getting together for fellowship events monthly. They are looking forward to another tennis tournament in a few weeks and possibly a mountain hike later this fall. “We are encouraging everyone to invite friends outside of our community,” said Allen.