The 3-Tier Paradigm
This series of blogs are excerpts from Dr. Linville’s yet to be released book. They explain and outline the 3-Tier Paradigm introduced in his book. The 3-Tier Paradigm is the organizational structure upon which Dr. Linville’s series of Sports Outreach Ministry books are based and serves as the guiding light for how the association of Church Sports & Recreation Ministries (CSRM) executes its equipping of local churches. This blog explains the Level #3 – Methodological Models part of the 3-Tier Paradigm
Level #3 Methodological Models: The What we do
Once a church has determined the Why, Where, When and With Whom for their Sports, Recreation and Fitness Outreach Ministries, they are then able to determine the What they are to do. What a church does is often the running of programs. Running “programs” has fallen into disfavor, and understandably so, but, missiologically-based programs will never fall out of favor! The difference can be seen in the following…
Application of Level #3 Methodological Models in Local Church Sports, Recreation and Fitness Outreach Ministries
If a congregation finds itself geographically in a suburban residential area made up of young families or an urban housing development populated by many latch-key kids, a relevant Level #2 With Whom strategy would be to employ a Level #3 Methodological Model of youth sports. This strategic and relevant missiological activity would effectively meet many of the needs of the community the congregation finds itself located, and provide the church with a significant ongoing method for reaching the community for Christ.
Conversely, if a local church is located in an industrial or civic location with offices and other work places for blue and white collar employees and executives, the relevant Level #2 missiological strategy to provide fitness facilities and opportunities, and/or health services, for the pre- and post-work or lunch-break crowd often proves both effective outreach and an efficient utilization of resources for gospel impact.
Strategies are the overarching Philosophical Principles a local church envisions for their sports outreach. These are based upon both Biblically-based wisdom and strategic comprehension of the geographic and demographic situation the church finds itself. Every church is positioned to reach its community and will be most effective when its Methodological Models are based in well researched and conceived Philosophical Principles.
Conversely, a church with most of its membership exceeding the age of 50 will find golf and bowling leagues to be much more effective than young adult softball or basketball outreaches. The main reason for this has to do with relationships. Church growth, which assumes evangelistic-disciplemaking, is based upon relational outreach. If the church offers a 20-something basketball league for young men but none of the church men play in the league, no relationships are built and thus very little evangelism actually takes place…at least any evangelism that occurs won’t translate into that church growing. It must be noted however, this church would be wise to start sports outreach for children which parents and grandparents can be involved in as coaches, referees and league directors for the purpose of building relationship with the next generation. Otherwise, this church has no future, only a present.
It becomes apparent, effective Level #3 Methodological Models are greatly dependent on understanding one’s community and how the local congregation is positioned to reach it. Effective and efficient Level #3 Methodological Model programs are only possible when they are strategically relevant as conceived of through Biblically-based Level #2 Philosophical Principles.
Next week’s blog will discuss the “Core Values” that undergird the What of local church Sports Outreach.
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's book Christmanship and a 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
Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports, sports theology and ethics written by Dr. Greg Linville are archived at: www.csrm.org
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.