Youth sports in America has become a big industry. Five years ago, a 2013 ESPN article highlighted the growth of youth sports in America, estimating that at least “21.47 million kids between 6 and 17, or more than the population of Texas in 2000,” were involved in a sport. A large percentage of those children or teens played on a club team that traveled during the summer or on weekends. When Jason Rains’s son began playing on a baseball travel team, he saw an opportunity to reach out to families in that group. In 2016, Rains, the pastor of Grace Crossing in Moundridge, Kansas, started 5 Tool Ministries to provide an online community reaching out to athletes and their families.
Just as the 5-tool athlete in baseball excels in five areas that are crucial to success like hitting, fielding, throwing and running the bases, 5 Tool Ministries equips athletes for a successful life in five important areas: confidence, composure, character, chemistry, and courage. Jason knows that young athletes are dealing with pressure to perform and temptation, and he said, “I want to breathe faith and positive thinking into those places.” Since 5 Tool Ministries is an online faith community, traveling athletes and families can access Jason’s messages during traditional worship times or whenever they are available to watch it on Facebook or at www.fivetoolministries.com.
Even though his son’s club team changes with age, former teammates have reached out to him for advice, and he baptized his son’s coach. In the last two years, the online community has grown to 500 views each week. He has heard from college athletes who watch his messages online and from parents whose children are struggling with challenges like anxiety, depression, and suicide. Through 5 Tool Ministries, Rains is building a platform that extends beyond the youth club sports to include doctors, nurses, and band members who miss weekend gatherings because of work commitments.