In an effort to reach the Greek people and those attending the Olympic Games, a united evangelical Olympic ministry formed by the International Athletic Organization “More than Gold” and the Christian community of Greece is cooperating with the International Olympic Committee and hundreds of volunteers from Greece and beyond to share the Gospel through various outreach programs throughout the Olympic Games.
"The churches and Christian agencies are joining hands there to have an outreach, not only to the Greek nationals, but also to the millions of visitors who will be there to enjoy the games," said Paul Jenks of AMG International, one of the participating organizations of "Flame 2004", an organization of joint evangelistic outreaches for the Olympic Games.
Currently, 58 local churches are working together with organizations such as AMG International, International Bible Society, Athletes in Action, Southern Baptists, Jesus Film, and RBC Ministries for “Flame 2004.”
During the Olympics and the Paralympics that immediately follow them, a wide variety of outreach activities will include hospitality areas, refreshment stands, showings of the “Jesus” film, craft venues and presentations (sports, music and drama).
Recently, on August 14, Flame hosted the Peace and Unity concert, featuring bands like Delirious, Folks, Denver & Mile High Orchestra, Green Gade, dance groups, parades, and Olympic gold medallist speaker Carl Lewis.
Below are some other projects Flame will run and coordinate during the Olympics:
2K+: “2K plus” provides a wide–range of services from sports events for broadcasters worldwide (more than 800 radio stations), including government, national and local, commercial and Christian Radio Stations. Located in Athens, they interview Christian sports personalities, comment on moral and ethical issues from a biblical perspective, and present features on outreach projects based around the sporting events.
Christian Literature Production: There is a series of Christian literature productions that are related to the Olympic Games. Some of these are: Interactive Pocket Guide about Olympic Games (Flame), Olympic New Testimony (AMG – LOGOS productions), Gospel of Luke (Greek Evangelical Churches), Multi-Lingual Portion of Acts, Gospel of Mark, and the New Testimony (International Bible Society), The Wonder Book (Child Evangelism Fellowship), Jesus Video Sports Edition (Campus Crusade)
Sports Clinics: The local churches, in conjunction with “Athletes in Action,” put on the program “Giving the Flame” in July reaching out to the local community through the sports. During the Olympic Games the athletes in action team continue to run their sports clinics project to different areas.
Crown of Life: The Greek Evangelical Churches have undertaken a broad range of activities across the city. These include road cleaning, maintaining Cool Zones, concerts and festivals (pantomime and Christian literature distribution). They’ve also organized a unique exhibition on the Olympic Games. The exhibition will take place in the Evangelical Church in Athens.
Operation Gideon: Outreach teams will go to 80 Greek islands and speak about “The One God”.
Chaplaincy: 29 chaplains (ISC) will come to Athens to address the spiritual needs of the athletes.
Mission Teams: 1,600 members of mission teams comes to Athens to participate in flame’s programs offering help to the local churches.
Major Events Briefing: This project will present the experiences of Flame to the Christian leaders of the countries who are going to host a major sports event in the future. They have been invited by “More Than Gold” project of Global Events Group (GEG) who will educate them and share the experiences of the Flame Project.
Cool Zones: At five central locations in Athens (Klauthmonos, Koumoundourou, Santaroza, Kotzia, National Garden) Flame will have “Cool Zones,” places where they will distribute free cold water to the attendees and at the same time run events like mime, face painting, balloon sculpturing etc.
Creative Arts: Artists from around the world have come to Greece to participate in events helping with Greek projects. As Flame´s creative arts team, their role is to provide artists, stages, production crews, managers, administration, VIP Hospitality, promotions, graphic designers, and media liaisons. These special events will include music concerts, theatrical performances, pantomimes, artistic exhibitions and painting exhibition forums and lectures.
Passage to Life: Will have their outreach among the youth on the island of Ios from August 19 – 26. Their “Cool Spots” project for Athens is in the process of getting the necessary permission. “Cool Spots” are places where passengers can have a rest during the day and in the evening will be converted to a concert platform.
Prayer Network: “There is a unique feeling of unision and power that comes through the prayers of the believers from all around the world,” said the coordinators of Flame. The Greek prayer network with the name ‘All Greece: a flame of prayer’ is a “strong encouragement and good testimony for all the people in Greece.”
Prayer House: There will be a Prayer House which will run 24/7 (all day, every day), August 13-30+.
- Attendants can participate in a number of strategic ways:
- They can come on their own or with a group.
- The can call requests into the prayer hotline (a number is being connected at the Prayer House)
The Olympic Games are taking place August 13-29 in Athens, while the Paralympic Games will take place September 17-28.