The Sports Outreach Movement emerged in the mid 20th Century touted as a most strategic tool for Evangelism, Discipleship and church growth. Most Sports Outreach Ministers believe it to be the most strategic tool the church can employ to accomplish the Great Commission but many church leaders are beginning to wonder whether it has delivered its promised results.
In western countries, fewer and fewer people attend church since the Sports Outreach Movement came into vogue in the mid to late 20th century:
U.K. AVERAGE WEEKLY CHURCH ATTENDANCE
NORTH AMERICA WEEKLY CHURCH ATTENDANCE
NEVER ATTEND CHURCH
IT’S WORTH ASKING…
There is no hard data on the decline of Sports Outreach Movement however, these trends are verified by Sports Ministry leaders who are growing increasingly concerned. The bad news is, these facts and trends are to a large degree true and valid. The good news is there are insights which can help to explain some of the facts and trends. In addition, for those willing to face facts and are open to change how they perceive and implement Sports Ministry, there are answers which can empower the Sports Outreach Movement to new levels of effectiveness and efficiency.
Over the course of the next weeks these trends will be addressed in this blog based upon an exposition and discussion of the Six Sports Outreach Continuums of Tension which are impacting the current trends in Sports Outreach Ministry.
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.