Eric Nyborg - B.S. '99
Leading, feeding and protecting the flock. That has been the theme of my ministry involvement since I graduated from Multnomah in May of 99. In fulfilling my calling, I've served on church staffs, planted churches, and recently founded an outreach to coaches/athletes that has gained tremendous momentum in the Pacific Northwest.
The name of this ministry is Sports Outreach Northwest. In this ministry the aim is to see a spiritual resurgence among coaches/athletes in the Northwest through discipleship and application of Biblical truth. SONW was launched in March of 2011, and is currently serving three of the high schools in Hillsboro, Oregon with plans to expand to other schools.
To date, I lead a Friday morning coaches study, encourage student athletes at football chapels, conduct a monthly outreach for middle and high school athletes, and provide sports clinics during the summer for elementary aged kids. We've also produced an athlete's Bible that we've started handing out this past month. Starting in 2013, I'll serve as the chaplain for the Hillsboro Hops, which is a single "A" team that just moved to the area. This has kept me pretty busy in advancing the glorious gospel.
Partnering with Churches for Discipleship
Another key feature is the connection with local churches where I have developed close relationships. The goal is to partner with churches through outreach events for effective follow up discipleship purposes. This has been a fruitful endeavor as a number of pastors see value in our ministry to the sports community and have been eager to participate. Currently, we have six supporting churches that are helping to fund our ministry as we seek to serve full-time.
Sport Ministry in Oregonian News
Recently, the Oregonian ran a front page article on our local football coaches, the chapels for their teams, and the Friday morning study. The article highlighted Bill Smith (Century), Ken Ingram (Hilhi) and Steve Jones (Glencoe). Each have become very good friends and work closely with the ministry. The write up has caught of the attention of other coaches/athletes in the area. As a result, they have requested that SONW start an outreach at their schools as well. We are working to fulfill the request as time and resources permit.
The quick growth of the ministry is very humbling and a great example of the Lord using His church to increase His Kingdom. In time, we hope and pray that we'll see many coaches/athletes saved and built up in their faith in Jesus Christ. We labor to this end!
In the coming months, our goal to add staff to keep up with the growing list of opportunities to serve. We trust that the Lord will provide the right people whose gifts and talents compliment those on the SONW team. You can visit our Sports Outreach Northwest website to gain a broader understanding of our mission field.
About the Author
Eric and Jennifer have been married for 16 years and have five children (Serena, Zachary, Ella, Tess and Lucy). They live in Hillsboro, Oregon, and attend Southwest Bible Church. Both enjoy friendships with alumni from Multnomah University.