The Purpose and Functions of The Church and The Implications for Athletes, Coaches and Sports Outreach Ministry
The purpose and function of The Church are guided by two foundational passages The Church has called: a) The Great Commission; and b) The Great Commandments; and thus, from these two foundational Biblical foundations the Sports Outreach Movement derives its purpose and function. In fact this particular point may well be the most vital of all Level #1 Theological Truths because on it hang all the Sports Outreach Movement’s Level #2 Philosophical Principles and each Level #3 Methodological Models! Let’s dive in…
There have been many attempts by theologians through the years to determine the purpose and functions of The Church. The ultimate essence of the purpose of The Church is to create a “redeemed” people who love and worship God as they seek to “redeem” the world by loving themselves and others. This was summarized by Christ when He responded to the scribe’s question concerning the greatest commandment: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself“ The question raised by this is: How can disciples of Christ know the proper ethic for loving God, ourselves and neighbors; and perhaps what is even more important, how does a person find the strength to manifest such love? The answer to both can only be found in and through the study and application of biblical truths; which can best be understood through regular participation in a local congregation’s worship, Christian education and fellowship activities.
The function of The Church is communicated through the “Great Commission:” Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” So the end goal of The Church’s function is what I have termed “evangelistic-disciplemaking.” Thus, the Sports Outreach Ministry Movement in general, and the Sports and Recreation Ministry of local congregations in particular, is to: a) go into all the world; b) make disciples; c) baptize them and; d) teach these new converts how to observe all God commanded. With this as the foundation, the Sports Outreach Movement can no longer be satisfied with anything short of evangelistic-disciplemaking which includes new converts being baptized and taught how to observe all that God commanded, including significant participation in a local congregation as Hebrews 10.25 mandates...
Is this the goal of your Sports Ministry? Can it truly be said of your Sport, Rec and/or Fitness Ministry that you are: a) going to those who are currently far from Christ; b) converting them to become life-long, dedicated disciples of Jesus; c) baptizing them; d) and getting them involved as regular participants in a church that will teach them how to live like Jesus?
The next blog in this series will begin to consider the “why and what” of getting new converts involved in a local congregation of The Church
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's book yet to be released book – Sports Ministry Fundamentals. 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 and other local church Sports, Rec & Fitness Ministers are archived at: www.csrm.org
 Mark 12.30f.
 Matthew 28.19f.
 See more on this in Chapter ???? which considers the Level #1 Theological Truth concerning soteriology - the theology of salvation.
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.