On Monday July 10th, Bolus Ball Hockey was visited by the local Burlington Fire Department. They heard about the program through the NextDoor space, a drop in centre in Aldershot where Bolus Ball Hockey originates. This program is intended as a blessing to the kids of the local community and using sports as the platform for that blessing. But what we love most about this program, is how it has taken shape and has many moving parts from many different places. And when I was asked by the Fire Fighters about who runs the program, because there are so many moving parts, the answer becomes a story. The story of Bolus Ball Hockey.
And you have likely heard at least part of this story at some point, especially if we are friends on Facebook because it is one of my favourites. We will begin with Next Door Space, a ministry that has come out of ForestView Church. A drop in space in the neighbourhood of Aldershot that is a safe place where people from the local neighbourhood can come, enjoy a meal, cook a meal, learn new skills, meet new friends, talk about God, and just be good neighbours.
Through the evolution of this space and being in conversation with our neighbours, we recognized a need. There was a ball hockey court just down the road that never got used and we felt a desire to change that. Enter Reach Forth, a sports ministry that has a heart for using sports as a platform to tell others about Jesus. Through conversations, we were able to help build a Ball Hockey program that we felt would best fit the community we were trying to serve. Since this also happens to be my own neighbourhood, it made sense that I would take the lead on this program even though it isn’t really my skill set. But it doesn’t end with just creating a program, we still needed people to come! And more importantly, I couldn’t run the program by myself, I needed a team. I feel like this is where the story really begins to take shape. We began advertising the program to the community through flyers and other local organizations. We started talking to everyone about the program, shared posts on social media, did everything we could think of to recruit kids and volunteers for the program.
3 years later we actually have volunteers from at least 3 different local churches and although this was not the vision I personally had for the program, it has made me recognize my own small thinking. It helped me see that I had pride in wanting my own church to get recognition for the great ministry this program provides. Thankfully God is a much bigger picture thinker than I am and has created this beautiful picture of the extended body of Christ and community working together, needing each other. We have Alison from Compass Point who provides the program with amazing and engaging devotionals that the kids love and listen intently to. We have Raymond and Cayman from The Meeting House whose patience and servant heart for the kids are beyond encouraging. We have Jason and Jamie from ForestView whose love for sport and kids are both so evident. We have 2 dads from the community who believe so strongly in this program and are such amazing encouragement to the kids. And not to mention all the parents who take turn providing snack each week. We need all of these moving parts to make this program happen every week, every year.
This is such a beautiful picture of the extended body of Christ and no one is worried about getting the credit because it’s not about that. It’s about providing a great platform to share the gospel in our local community. It’s about creating a safe place for kids to come and play ball hockey with their neighbours. It’s about kids learning new skills and gaining confidence in a new sport. It’s about meeting our neighbours no matter where they come from or what their walk of life may look like. At the ball hockey court is where we all find common ground. Not for a specific church or ministry but for the Lord and for our community. I imagine this is ultimately how God intended ministry to look and I feel so blessed to get a glimpse of that in my own community through the power of sports ministry.