The 2022 World Games set to kick off tonight (July 7) in Birmingham is a global event and as such presents an opportunity for believers in and around Central Alabama to serve, interact with and pray for athletes from countries where the majority of the population is unreached by the gospel. The opening ceremony (starting at 8 p.m. Central) will be live streamed on theworldgames.org and TWG2022.com.
As the website of The Church at Brook Hills puts it, “we are encouraging our people to mobilize and show warm hospitality to love our neighbors well during The Games. You can do this by volunteering with World Games, serving with Baba Java (the official coffee sponsor of the World Games) or attending games with the intentionality of being warm, welcoming and having gospel conversations.”
Many athletes from hard-to-reach countries such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Thailand will compete in Birmingham. In Uzbekistan, 96.5% of the population remains unreached by the gospel. Only 0.18% of Uzbeks are evangelical Christians.
‘Generational-type of opportunity’
“The world is coming to Birmingham in a big way,” said John Butterfield, local disciple-making pastor at The Church at Brook Hills. “We will have the opportunity to welcome people to our city and show them the hospitality that is deeply rooted in our Christian faith.
“This is a generational-type of opportunity that we can leverage to show people the love of Christ and plant gospel seeds that will bear fruit around the world for years to come.”
For those who wish to serve, volunteer opportunities with Bab Java coffee may still be available. Volunteers can help brew coffee at a variety of sites all across the city, deliver the coffee to volunteer stations across the World Games venue sites and clean up and reset for the next day. To find out more, email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praying for The World Games
The Birmingham Metro Baptist Association put together a “Praying on the 7s” Prayer Guide to help Birmingham-area churches and others commit to pray with purpose for The World Games.
Below are prayer prompts for the opening and closing days of the Games.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Prayer Focus: Opening Ceremony for the World Games 2022
Scripture: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- The theme for the Opening Ceremony is “Unlocking the Magic: Celebrating Birmingham’s Past, Present, and Future.” What the world knows of Birmingham is largely related to the racial tensions and injustices from years past. Imagine the world going back to their homes and sharing their experience of being treated with kindness, respect, equality and love.
- Pray for all athletes who will be competing in TWG in the coming days.
- Pray for safety and security for all events and venues.
- Pray for opportunities for the gospel to be shared and lives to be changed!
- Learn more about the TWG Opening Ceremony here.
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Prayer Focus: Closing Ceremony for the World Games 2022
Scripture: In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4
- Pray for safe travel for all athletes, families, media, and visitors who will be traveling back to their home countries.
- Pray that the world will have a new perspective about our city as we live out the gospel in front of the world by serving and caring for all people, from all backgrounds, from all over the world.
- Pray that lives will continued to be impacted for the gospel of Jesus Christ in Birmingham and around the world because of The World Games 2022.
- Learn more about TWG Closing Ceremony here.
Click here to read more about The World Games 2022 and the July 7 Opening Ceremony.