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