Soccer

Sports ministry is common in inner-city ministries, because it is are one of the most universal and unifying ways for complete strangers to connect. This is true for One7 too; our soccer ministry is our most powerful outreach tool to neighborhood youth. Unreached young people who would never give a typical youth minister the time of day will come to The Apartments and play pickup games with our young leaders, and even join our teams—which leads to relationships, discipleship, and life change.

3What makes One7’s soccer ministry entirely uncommon, though, is our club soccer program, and the uniquely bold yet accessible way that we share the gospel with every team we play. We use athletic training and competition to teach young men and women to be leaders for Christ in all that they do, building the character, integrity, and discipline that has been missing in almost all of their lives. This comes out the moment our young leaders step onto the field with one mind and purpose–to share the love of Jesucristo with the opposing team. Oftentimes our opponents label our teams as inner-city thugs before ever meeting us, but we defy their stereotypes and the world’s expectations in our sportsmanship and honor toward them even in the fiercest moments of competition. Then, after every game, our team asks to circle up with the opposing team, and one of our young leaders shares their story, how God redeemed their life through One7, and how He wants to do the same in their lives too. No one ever expects this—especially from a group of inner-city kids—yet we have seen miracles abound as people encounter Christ for the first time in these interactions.

Teams

Nationally-recognized eClub soccer teams, ranging from U9 to U18

Championships

3-time national champions (2012 and 2015)

Disciples

Over 50 young leaders competing on One7 teams
Shalom

Shalom: Leading for Christ on the National Stage

Shalom came to the United States during the most difficult time in his life. Shortly before his family left Togo as refugees, his father died suddenly, devastating Shalom, and starting a downward spiral. When his family was resettled in Charlotte, he fell into the darkness and criminal activity common to East Charlotte youth. But then Shalom met One7 through a high school soccer tryout, and, though he resisted at first, God led him to become part of our soccer ministry. One7 was different—for the first time, he had leaders and teammates who truly loved and cared for him as a person, not just for his talent. He was constantly exposed to the Gospel through One7’s soccer program, and eventually gave his life to Christ. Since then, Shalom has become a legendary One7 leader, pouring truth into his peers, boldly sharing his faith with other teams, and training up the next generation to follow in his footsteps. One7 also grew Shalom into a nationally-recognized athlete, being named an All-American and going to Division 1 Liberty University on a full athletic scholarship. Though he always had this potential, his life now was unimaginable for him until he found Christ, who used One7 to raise him up into the powerful young leader he is today. Shalom is a living example of why One7 is unlike any other sports ministry, where God radically changes young lives and creates miraculous opportunities for the future.