In high school, most students are preoccupied with schoolwork, sports, friends and jobs; it is not common for them to found and operate their own business. However, juniors Trent Line and Sam Bolin created not only a successful business, but one that contributes to community wellness. The idea for a faith-based sports camp developed in the fall of 2014.
“By a slip of the tongue I said ‘In Jesus name we play’ instead of ‘in Jesus name we pray’ after football practice,” Line said.
The simple mistake became the basis of a complex project. Line and Bolin began contemplating ideas about a non-profit and faith-based sports business.
“We had an idea that we wanted to turn it into something bigger and turn it into a business. We wanted to start trademarking it,” Line said. “We spent about a year or two just planning it and contributing ideas. For about a year or two nothing really happened.”
That was when a miracle answered their prayers. Rod and Carol Hervey, employees at the Center Grove Estates approached Bolin. The Herveys mainly work with the Center Grove Estate families and lead youth groups in the neighborhood.
“They had been wanting to do faith-based sports for a while but they didn’t have the means or the connections so we teamed up and the organization got started,” Line said. “After that we got over 51 volunteers and most of them were Center Grove athletes, which was great.”
In Jesus’ Name We Play was official. The camp was three weeks long on Tuesdays and Thursdays and lasted around 2-3 hours each day.
“The first week we did a volleyball program and Grove Volley sent us some volunteers to help with that. Then the second week we had soccer and the third week we had basketball. We got a bunch of volunteers from the school teams and that was a great blessing,” Line said.
The main goal of the program was to introduce ways to have fun to underprivileged kids who
spent the majority of their time inactive indoors.
“As the organization grew we realized that the main thing these kids need is love,” Line said. “A lot of them have a rough family background and tough lives. Before school started we created a Back-to-School bash where kids from the Center Grove Estates and others from the community participated in games and devotionals and made friendships that would better equip them with the tools they need for a happy school year.”
Most of the money and equipment for the organization has been donated by sponsors and donors. The business is simple in the way it is run and does not consist of a corporate-style management team. Instead, the organization is more “home-based.”
Bolin’s mother, Lori, helps in technological outreach and marketing while Bolin and Line brainstorm ideas and contribute in face-to-face contact and promotion.
“We used the start-up period to establish the In Jesus Name We Play sports camp ministry in detail; we worked with a graphic artist to develop a logo, outlines for camps and conducted focus groups with several of our student athlete peers at Center Grove and got their input,” Bolin said. “We also put together a private website for volunteers to help them prepare to work at the camps.”
The three main values that the organization hopes to instill in kids are connecting with others, enhancing physical skills and further strengthening their relationship with Jesus Christ.
“We try to love them and show the the benefits of relationships and how Jesus Christ can affect their life on Earth,” Line said.
The non-profit organization has tremendously impacted the lives of many young people and hopes to continuously build and expand their goals and endeavors.