Travel Sports and Sundays
Travel sports are invading our culture in a powerful way. They are impacting many families, including families in the church. One expert said that youth sports tourism has grown 20 percent in a year and that families are no longer taking vacations. They’re taking what he calls “tourni-cations”, a tournament vacation. During these vacations, families pay for transportation, lodging and meals, on top of entry and registration fees in order to play for the travel teams. One family said that they spend $15,000 annually on their kids to play travel sports.
We are spending ever increasing amounts of money and time on travel sports. And as a result, travel sports are effecting how Christian families view and participate in the Lord’s Day. Some families are routinely missing numerous Sundays a year in order to make it to scheduled games and related events. There are some families who even divide up, so that family members are going to different locations over a weekend, to be at double events.
What many of us don’t realize, is how new this ‘travel industry’ is in world history. This kind of thing was unheard of 30 years ago. It has emerged as a multi-million dollar industry. In doing so, it lures people in and turns their life upside down, with little to no warning. The results are increasing exhaustion, fatigue, family stress and spiritual disintegration. Many of us will run our kids to their next sporting event, but are investing very little into our kids spiritually. The questions are: What does all of this say to our kids? What is the message when travel sports trump the Lord’s Day? What happened to the Sabbath as a day set apart to the Lord?
Our kids are only here for a short season. It may be time to take inventory and ask some tough questions about our schedule. It may be time to be the parents, and set some new guidelines for sanity and spiritual health in our home. Can we say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”?
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor