It has been a busy summer for the Engage team with involvement at over 12 festivals being one of the key strategies in sharing the Game of Life resource with Churches, many attending the National gatherings. From April to August the team has been present at The Big Church Day Out, The Gathering Men’s Festival, Keswick Convention, Spring Harvest, New Wine, Momentum and Soul Survivor.
Each festival has seen varying levels of involvement from Engage 2015. Most events have involved an exhibition stand, acting as a focal point to connect with church leaders and promote The Game of Life resource. At certain festivals Engage has hosted events and activities such as a sports quizes, in partnership with Christians in Sport, Tough & Tag rugby tournaments, and the rapidly growing challenge, the Engage Speed Test. The Fun Fest that took place at New Wine, involved a rugby tournament with the Engage speed test and a challenging obstacle course. At the recent New Wine festival, the activities attracted 900 and 500 participants respectively.
The focus of these festivals was to create brand awareness by reaching out to a wide audience of church leaders, youth, families and children. It is also to help Engage make a connection between the gospel, rugby and sport in general, and empower people to build relationships in their communities using the Engage resources. Each of the festivals has had its own unique audience in terms of location, age group and denomination.
One leader said on receiving the game of life resource at the festival, ‘‘I’m going to take this Game of Life back to our home church because I think there are three different outreaches we can use this for over the world cup season. We’ve got an outreach for some youth offenders. And what I am thinking is that we do a night which is real in the middle of the world cup, or several nights and we get these testimonies out for them so they can see its really quite cool to follow Jesus. We’ve got an older youth group and I think some of the boys would benefit from a blokes night and again we get the rugby on and we use the Game of Life to bring testimonies to them. The other thing is, I think it’d be a really great opportunity for the men of the church to invite friends for a pie and pea supper night where a match is being shown! I can’t wait to get using these resources!
Says another Church leader, ”We just bought the Game of Life pack and we’re really excited to start engaging with young adults and other guys who are involved in sports and girls who love it too. We’re really keen to take this back to church and look at how we can use it to get more people following Jesus.
Another leader said, ”I’m planning to start a tag rugby club for primary age children, their mums, dads and maybe show a few of the games it should be good fun.
In addition to attending summer festivals Engage 2015 completed a vision tour with the aim of equipping church leaders for events around the Rugby World Cup. Delegates from Engage, including partners from other Christian agencies, visited over 50 locations within the UK and spoke to over 600 church leaders throughout the tour.