While the three great strands of Christianity disagree on the number and understanding of the Sacraments they do agree on the general vital importance of Sacraments. Catholic and Orthodox traditions share in the belief there are seven Sacraments whereas Protestants claim only two, often calling them Ordinances. However, all traditions place a very high priority on the regular receiving of, and participation in the Sacraments. The relevance of the Sacraments in regards to athletes, coaches and Sports Outreach Ministry has to do with the fact that commitments to sport most often preclude participation in the Sacraments for coaches and athletes due to athletes participating in sporting activities on the Lord’s Day. The implications of this should be apparent. Christian athletes and coaches, along with Sports Outreach Ministries need to evaluate their priorities and find a way to reconcile their sporting commitments so as to be able to regularly participate in a local congregation’s activities including the receiving of the Sacraments.
Summary of Obligations and Participation in a Local Church
There are few good reasons to participate in non-church sponsored Sunday Sport and many great reasons not to. However, I do believe a case can be made for a local congregation incorporating Sunday sport and recreation into an overall ministry plan. To state it even stronger, I believe a church would find combining recreational and sporting activities with traditional Lord’s Day worship services, Christian Education classes, youth, children and other outreach ministries not only strategic and relevant, but more importantly well within the theological mandates and biblically-based Level #2 Philosophical Principles of the scriptures. The key distinction is all such activities are church sponsored and they both support and enhance the purpose, function and evangelistic-disciplemaking endeavors of The Church.
This blog is an excerpt from a future book "Surrounded by Witnesses" by Dr. Greg Linville. All rights reserved. For any reproduction right, including copying, computer reproduction, etc. contact:
Dr. Greg Linville at CSRM International C/O The World Outreach Center 5350 Broadmoor Circle N. w. Canton, Ohio – USA 44709 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports, sports theology and ethics written by Dr. Greg Linville and other local church Sports, Rec & Fitness Ministers are archived at: http://www.csrm.org/blog/
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.