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November/December 2006 Issue

Splat! Paintball with Christian Love
By Claude Bidal

What do the sport of paintball and Christianity have in common? Everything, according to Aaron Reimer of Niagara Falls, Ont., who says he feels called to bring his love of Christ to the sport he enjoys.

“My [Mennonite Brethren congregation] didn’t quite get the concept at first, but they could see my passion and supported me,” says Rei-mer. Hence, with some financial support from Cornerstone Community Church, Lion’s Pride Paintball Outreach Ministry was born. And thanks to a website owned by the Christian Paintball Players Association, a network in the United States, Reimer recruited more Canadian members into the fold.

The Pride, the ministry’s paintball team, competes throughout Ontario. Service to other paintballers is central to their idea of ministry. Usually they take a low-key approach of putting on barbecues and bringing portable shelter and inflatable furniture for competitions to allow other teams to get out of the sun and relax a bit between games.

The team exhibits a high level of sportsmanship and takes a strong stance against cheating. This seems obvious but, given that paintball has been plagued with cheating at all levels of competition, it is quite novel. So much so that The Pride was recognized with an award for sportsmanship at a series of indoor tournaments last February.

Some inevitably wonder how paintball can be compatible with Christianity given its violent image. Reimer says competitive paintball is much closer to an advanced game of tag or capture the flag than to violence. He argues that most kinds of competition can have a violent component or be intentionally healthy, and that many other sports ministries have a proven effectiveness.

Lion’s Pride Outreach Ministry (www.lionspridepaintball.com) sees the fraternity among players as fertile ground on which to sow the message of Christian love.

Other articles
Nov/Dec 2006 Issue

Cover Story
Called Into The House

Featured Articles
Native Suicide: A Challenge to the Church

One Youth's Life or Death Struggle

From the Editor
Called to Respond

Kingdom Matters
Affair Ministry Emerged from Brokenness

Family's Story Tied to Mercy Ships

Phone Ministry 24/7 

Splat! Paintball with Christian Love

The Gathering Place
Responding to Distortions

God at Work in Denominations
God Uses Willingness to Serve

A Church You Should Know
Eglise Nouvelle Vie

Ask a Theologian:
What DNA Matter Did the Baby Jesus Have?

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