1,000 “More Than Gold” ecumenical volunteers will show God’s love by serving fans at the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Tom Page, Wikimedia Commons
More than four million visitors are expected to arrive in London during this summer’s Olympic games. More Than Gold, an ecumenical charity originally launched during the 1996 Atlanta Games, is recruiting and training 1,000 volunteer “Games Pastors,” who will be deployed at airports, bus terminals and railway stations.
“They will be there to serve, whether people need directions, advice or simply a listening ear. We’re not doing this to evangelize, but we want to show people the love of God by the support we give them,” said Jon Burns, U.K. director of More Than Gold.
The organization began recruiting last year when it launched a countrywide “Get Set” tour visiting churches and other Christian communities and running workshops and information evenings. They have also produced packs suggesting practical ways churches can engage with the games, including festivals, street parties, children’s games, sports quizzes and competitions.
“The response has been terrific. Thousands of events are being planned, and hundreds of people have signed up as Games Pastors. We are fortunate in the U.K. already to have a large number of trained sports chaplains who work with the 75 football clubs, rugby, cricket and other sports teams,” Burns explained.