ST. Patrick...The Man, The Myth, The Model for Sport, Recreation and Fitness (SRA&F)Ministers...
Really you say! What can I possibly learn from some guy who's been dead for nearly two millennia? A lot...
The Man: Patrick was really a Briton who felt a call to reach the Celtic Barbarians...and he followed that call even though he was quite a bit older than the normal life expectancy of his day. His mission work in Ireland set in motion a Celtic model of Evangelistic-Disciplemaking that continues to shape the SR&F Outreach Community.
The Myth: Patrick's story has became quite embellished through the years and increasingly secularized...all ending with a day that centers around Green Beer and ungodly revelry. Such "celebrations" and perspectives of Patrick could not be further from the truth.
The Reality: Patrick's efforts changed an entire culture and impacted eternity for millions. Patrick was incredibly effective in his Evangelistic-Disciplemaking efforts which resulted in: a) over 700 churches planted; b) thousands of missionary priests ordained; c) tens of thousands of barbarians being baptized; d) ongoing efforts that continue to reach those far from Jesus and His Church.
While I can only hope to even come close to those numbers, Patrick's model was a guiding light to my personal ministry as a local church Sports Minister. I incorporated the following principles into my SR&F Outreach Ministry....
Perhaps next year you can sponsor a St. Patrick's Day celebration that would include resourcing; training, equipping and empowering a new generation of local church SR&F Outreach Missionaries
Dr. Greg Linville is CSRM's Director of Resource Development and his latest book (Putting The Church Back in the Game) can be ordered through the CSRM website
In Part I and Part II the subject of being biblically relevant was addressed – that relevancy being determined by your ministry’s commitment to incorporating the Word of God into your sports, recreation or fitness ministry activities; as well as by attending to those who have responded to the gospel by getting them started on the “discipleship road.”
Having addressed these two subjects, perhaps it is time to be specific about this process of making disciples.
Matthew 28:19,20 is often used as the “classic” Great Commission verse and often preached as the call to go to the nations and preach the gospel. What sometimes is lost is the priority of discipleship as we obey Jesus Christ. While verse 19 begins with “Go, therefore …” or “Go, ye…,” (giving the impression that evangelism is the key thought here), the fact is in these two verses, there really is only one imperative (command) verb and it follows the command to “go.” The imperative of our Lord Jesus is to “make disciples.” The balance of the verbs in verses 19 and 20 are called participial or helping verbs which tells us HOW we are to make disciples. Sorry for the grammar lesion, but the “go” of verse 19 is actually “as you are going” … to do what? To make disciples. The aspect of evangelism is assumed in these two verses in light of the fact the one evangelized (and the one who responded) would, then, be baptized and taught (the other two “helping verbs”). God’s greater concern is not making converts, but making disciples.
As we consider this in light of Sports Ministry, what tools are available to assist in this process of making disciples … of keeping the Word of God integrated into our programs? While the following is not a complete list, it certainly will get you moving in the right direction. By the way, all of these resources can be found on the CSRM website:
Rodger Oswald was founder of, and long time Executive Director of Church Sports International; Professor of Sports Ministry at The Masters College and is currently a CSRM Staff Emeritus. His writings can be accessed through the CSRM Webstie - https://csrm.z2systems.com/np/clients/csrm/giftstore.jsp
"Beware the I'ds of March." I often wonder if procrastination might be one of my spiritual gifts. I find it easy to put off until tomorrow what I don’t want to do today. In several classroom lectures, I will ask my students how many of them suffer from the same delay difficulties. When several hands go up, I’ll offer them the news of a Procrastinators Support group that meets in Oxford. Some student’s eyes will show a look of hope only to have it dashed when I inform them that I have yet to attend any of the meetings. It’s at that point they realize I pulled them right into the middle of a joke. We discuss procrastination quite often in my classes. I share the following procrastination story: