Soccer Ministry - La Paz
Club La Paz is the soccer or "futbol" club sponsored by the church partners of T2C2. At first it might seem strange that a mission organization like T2C2 would sponsor soccer clubs, however La Paz is actually an important part of our strategy to develop communities, plant missions and train leaders. A closer look at La Paz shows the impact it is making and just how important it is to the overall T2C2 ministry.
Soccer by the Numbers
- 7 children - In 2012, seven children of ESL students at Our Redeemer-Irving began what later became La Paz, when Pastor Juan Zamora realized they had way too much energy to stay inside the whole time. So he grabbed a soccer ball and started kicking it around with them.
- 14 Teams - Those seven players have grown to a Club La Paz that currently sponsors 14 teams and more than 200 players in Irving, North Dallas, Grand Prairie & Arlington that practice and compete in everything from local recreation leagues to the most competitive leagues in the North Texas Soccer Association.
- 25% the Cost - Because La Paz is supported by T2C2 and individuals many of our teams can play at 25% or less than the cost of the other teams in their leagues. This gives many players a chance to advance to higher levels of competition
- 3 Leaders - Each La Paz team has a leadership team of at least three adults. One person serves as the team organizer or manager, one as the coach, and one as a team representative. The team representative is the one who communicates with Pastor Juan about things beyond soccer, ie. a student of a family having a special need. They also assure that the teams pray and set aside time for devotions, giving Pastor Juan and the mission developers an opportunity to follow up spiritually with those families.
Beyond the Numbers
Numbers can't tell the entire story of La Paz, but at least 20 baptisms and 15 Confirmation/Communion students have already come to the churches of T2C2 through La Paz. Also, many players and families have become involved in the youth groups, mission trips, worship services and other aspects of the church life. Several of our players have attributed La Paz to helping keep them in school and away from the negative influences competing for their attention.
Next for La Paz
As we move forward into 2017 it looks like it will be an exciting time for the development of La Paz. T2C2 is planning to bring La Paz to places locally and communities like San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley and others for weekend or week-long clinics called Soccer Fest or "Fut-Fest." The fields at Faith-Grand Prairie will be hosting a variety of soccer activities for La Paz very soon.
T2C2 wants to add a part-time person to help Pastor Juan coordinate and promote the activities of La Paz. They will also be working to find community and business sponsors for our fields and teams. Finally, we will be expanding La Paz into our new church partners, starting with Bethel in East Dallas.
Despite all these exciting developments, we cannot lose sight of the reason for La Paz...that it remains at its core a ministry to students and families that it reaches. Competing and even winning on soccer field or pitch is great, but as Paul reminds us our ultimate goal is far greater, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."