prepare to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics and the City of
London gets ready to host the games, churches in the United Kingdom
are also gearing up for the international event.
Churches across the U.K. plan
to use the Olympics to reach out to international visitors and to
their own communities. The initiative is called More Than Gold.
Jon Burns, More Than Gold’s
U.K. director, says: “The
world is coming to London and the churches here are getting ready.
But we need hundreds of mission teams from the U.S. and elsewhere to
help us make the most of this historic opportunity.”
than 4 million international visitors are expected to invade London
for the Summer Olympics. More Than Gold plans to hand out 3 million
cups of water and will run an outreach at main transport hubs and
more than 3,000 churches plan to use the games to reach out to their
own communities. This will include festivals with big screens showing
the Olympics, plus music, food and activities for the whole family.
order to reach out to so many people, more than
mission and service team members
needed to work with local churches throughout the U.K. during the
games. This includes many from overseas.
opportunity is too vast for the churches of the U.K. alone. Our plea
to our fellow American believers is ‘come on over and help us’.
Many visitors will have no idea who Jesus really is and that is
equally true of many who live here,” Burns explains. “Let’s
join hands in unity to reach out with the good news.”
Construction of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium
on April 27 (Magnus Manske)
teams who work with More Than Gold will have accreditation, be able
to be linked to host churches and have access to affordable
accommodation. There is also an optional preparation conference in
London for mission team leaders.
coming on mission might find themselves serving at a hospitality
center, sharing their testimony on the streets, or joining in games
with children. There is something everyone can do,” Burns assures.
Than Gold has been around since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
It provides a flag for united faith-based outreach, hospitality and
service, and also an interface between the event’s organizing
committee and the churches.
initiative was established in the U.K. in 2008 in preparation of the
2012 London games. It has the support of “all main denominations”
and more than 60 Christian organizations and mission agencies.
London Summer Olympics will run from July 27 through Aug. 12, 2012.
The Paralympics will follow from Aug. 29 through Sept. 9.
information on raising a mission team for the London 2012 Olympics,