Vancouver, Canada

Volleyball Outreach Ministry was birthed out of a need to target an under served group within PMC with the Word of God.

Using a different approach, we wanted to apply The Word to the youth and young adults, who all shared a link to PMC, and provide a platform for this group to bring in friends from outside the church too.

The target audience had a varying range. It included those who attend Sunday service regularly, but didn't attend any prayer meetings, bible study's or other church events; the bulk of which were youth or young adults. Also included were PMC young adult married couples whose attendance to Sunday Service was sporatic at best.

Since this is a Missions-motivated church, we wanted a regular event that they could invite friends, classmates or co-workers to, who normally wouldn't go to church or spend time with church attendees.

Using the carrot-on-a-stick method, a small group of youth and young adults decided on using volleyball as an invite to others to come out and play; then deliver either 'encapsulated bible messages' or have regular attendees do 'tid-bit testimony's' on what God had done in their lives.

Matches at various parks in Surrey, soon led to the need to create our own court. In 2007, an idea was hatched to create our own sand court on the then vacant, church property. A court was excavated with heavy equipment. Then 50 tonnes of fine river sand was brought in and the court was completed. The cost was _____ Various vendors extended discounts for materials to help us keep costs down. The church fronted the money needed. The volleyball ministry did bottle drives, fundraisers and took donations to pay back in full, the amount needed. And according to Pastor B, the Volleyball Outreach Ministry has paid back the money in full.

The messages or testimony's had one stipulation: they had to be short in length. Being no more than 12 minutes long, the messages delivered by WM or DO, were short, punchy, not dry and to-the-point. They linked a lesson from the bible that could be applicable to the relevant issues of everyday lives of our target audience. We wanted the lessons to seed yet not lose their attention.
Further enquiry's from, initially reluctant players, about a shared message or testimony, could be expanded on, one-on-one, sitting courtside, during play or on breaks.

Pretty soon demand grew. A facebook page was created highlighting the ministry. Text messages were sent out informing participants of the next match. Weekly volleyball matches led to two to four matches played each week. Matches were set depending on Weather conditions or around other PMC happenenings. Every effort was made that no matches overlap any important PMC church events.

Once the Ministry gained traction, a call was sent out to the Men's Ministry. The youth and young adults challenged them to a tournament. And in late June, two teams representing the Men's Ministry played four different squads of the Youth and Young Adults group. More than 65 people attended.

A trophy called the Coconut Cup was made once a Malayalee team from Seattle came up here to play our group in a tournament. And a young adult Canada Day celebration was held on the court.

Even one young newlywed couple from 2008 said the Volleyball ministry was instrumental in their union.

We also found a fringe element to this target audience started to come to volleyball. A few mothers in the church approached some of us young adults over the years and asked that we try to get some of their teenage or twenty-something children to participate with us. Some of their children, who were closed off or whose hearts were hardened if you will, would attend PMC begrudingly then drop off. Our attempts over the years failed. But soon enough invites were extended, and they would observe then participate. After awhile they would come out to our BBQ's and interact with other youth/young adults at church.

Eventually bonds of fellowship were created or strengthened with many participants. From the fringe element, to young adult couples, regular attendees who brought friends out, the youth age group, to former PMC'ers, all started to bond and knit a together. This was grounded in the fellowship and comraderie forged through the Ministry.

Since the conclusion of the 2008 volleyball season, we've done a few things to bridge to the 2009 playing season. We have a one hour weekly Young Adult prayer meeting which meet at PMC House on Sundays. We've had a costume party complete with message. And an awards banquet celebrating various participants. And more events are upcoming.

Since the court itself is no more on the church site, we are happy to announce that nothing from the ministry has gone to waste. The 4 dump trucks of sand (roughly 50 tonnes) was found spread in the excavated footprint of the new church building. In essence the work Christ has done through us lives on in the literal foundations of our church. A place where the youth and young adults of today, and most certainly more that will be drawn to our ministry tomorrow, will sing praises to our Lord and Saviour.

May God Bless and keep you well. Amen.

**Some quick testimony's from some of the participants in last year's PMC Young Adults Volleyball Ministry:

honestly, volleyball helped me build relationships with other youth that were coming to our church. Some of them, i had literally never talked to until volleyball happened. I had a lot of fun, and through this ministry, i was able to bring my non-christian friends to church so that they could also hear the word of God (for some of them, it was their first time.) Personally, it helped me get more involved and enthusiastic about our church. I think that it is a great outreach ministry, and should be invested in, so that we can accomplish our long term vision, to attract unsaved youth to our church.With this volleyball ministry; it has, it is, and it will be making a huge impact in the lives of our youth right now, and the ones to come.
I guess I will still say why the vball ministry is important:1) It's a great way for fellowship/to hear the word2) It's a great way for non-believers to hear the word and get involved3) It's great for people to get to know one another outside the church and get more involved and make more freindships.
I enjoyed it (Volleyball Outreach) for the simple enjoyment of gathering with good friends and sharing in our common belief that the gospel needs to be made personal. I appreciated the testimonies, they gave an element of realism and relate-ability that unbelievers can identify with. I also appreciated the openness of the group, I came knowing only a couple of people but felt very accepted by the many people that I met. So thanks for inviting me Alex! I enjoyed myself!
TB -Non PMC'er----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
hey,i just wanna tell that how much i luv the volleyball ministry and how much fun we had and i still wanna have fun looking forward to it.
volly ball DEFINATLY was my most faveriout part of church while it lasted. it really focused on the youth, but not in a formal way, a way that appealed to us as youth. it made me wanna come. i was very proud and excitted when i invitted my friends to there. the enviroment itself was different then the one at the church itself,yet more people would come to the v-court than church...... it was a great conversation starter to invite people to church,instead of saying "hey u wanna come to church this sunday?" it was eisier to say "hey u wanna come to play volly ball with some church people.."
I thank God that we were able to use this ministry to help bring non Christians to a non-threatening environment and tell them a little bit about Jesus. Was also a very good bonding time for pre-existing youth and young adults of the church.
there's been more non-christian people coming to the games and hanging out and even STAYING for the WORD more so than anyother event we've ever held.. OH and not only did it get our own youth together, but remember the UNCLES vs YOUTH game? YEAH I certainly do! lol I think some of the uncles excersied more that day then before too :) Having a ministry like this is essential especially for an indian church because it gets EVERYONE to come out and play with us but at the same time they see that brown christian people are COOL and aren't a threat and by knowing we're christians they may shift to us more if they have a problem and need to talk things out cuz they know we are there. Vball has been nothing short of a blessing to our church as a whole.. I can't wait to see what is planned once the new church is built because for sure we will have to restart an "on lot" ministry again.

Mr. Bilson