REVIEW: Many within the Sports Outreach Movement are becoming increasingly concerned about what they believed to be a most effective strategy.Simply stated, Sports Outreach has not delivered its promised results of accomplishing the Great Commission.This series of blogs addresses the underlying reasons for the decline through the lens of the Sports Outreach Ministry Continuums of Tension.Previous blogs articulated insights based on continuums 1-3.This Series considers the 4th Sports Outreach Ministry Continuum of Tension.This week’s focus is on the downside of Mega-event evangelism…
Why Mega-event Evangelistic Endeavors are Often Ineffective There are three main deficiencies of the Mega-event strategy: a) impersonal; b) lack of sustainable ministry; c) cynicism…
IMPERSONAL – Research and personal experience tell us most people who profess faith in Christ and become life-long disciples of Christ do so through personal relationships, not by reading a tract, article or book.My own personal research came through a University course (Personal Faith and Ethics) I taught for the better part of a decade and included over 2,000 students.An overwhelming majority indicated they prayed to receive Christ as a result of a personal relationship with a person, not as a result of any mass media outreach.A sizable percentage was led to Christ by their parents and/or grandparents (hello to all parents and grandparents!).Not surprisingly, there were two other major groups of people who were credited with leading my students to Christ: a) coaches; and b) youth ministers/leaders.
LACK OF SUSTAINABLE MINISTRY – Almost every Christian I have ever heard recap their “testimony” (how they became a Christian), tells a similar story.Those stories have a number of things in common, one of which is, their conversion occurred over a period of time.We know it takes a totally secularized, non-churched, not-yet-believing adult, 6-7 years to profess faith in Christ and in addition, during that time, they need to experience positive relationships with 5-6 followers of Christ.What does this say about “one-off” “Mega-events?”
CYNICSIM – Sadly, at least in America, Christians have been stereo-typed in very negative ways by an increasingly bigoted and intolerant media.In addition, during the last 25 years most Americans have witnessed the “fall” of many “celebrity” Christians.From Pastors who were caught having unethical financial practices and/or integrity issues, to Priests and Preachers molesting children and/or being convicted of sexual misconduct, to a man who was given a prestigious award by a Para-ministry as “Christian Athlete” of the year who was arrested that same night for soliciting a prostitute, is there any wonder why a secular public has become cynical?Most Mega-events are predicated upon the methodology of “Platform Proclamation.”These Platform Proclamations depend upon the “celebrity athlete.”
Yet, there remains a significant place and role for the Mega-event, but before we can fully understand how and why that role can be effectively utilized we need to look at another philosophy of evangelistic-disciplemaking.That philosophy is known by different terms such as: process evangelism; relational evangelism or friendship evangelism and it will be the topic of next week’s blog. Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports written by Dr. Greg Linville are archived at: www.csrm.org and http://www.csrm.org/blog201112-2.htmlThis blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's yet to be released book.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