Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry Syndromes
This set of blogs revisits and updates a series of articles that address common obstacles faced by many Local Church Sports & Recreation Ministers. The articles first appeared in CSRM’s Journal “The Sports Minister.” The end goal of the series is to help identify, define and explain various “syndromes” that can short circuit a successful and effective Sports Outreach in a Local Church.
What is a Syndrome
Originally derived from two Greek words (sun – together/with & drom – race/run), the English word Syndrome has evolved into two primary meanings. The first is primarily associated with identifying medical maladies and diseases. The second describes predictable, characteristics, conditions or patterns of behaviors that often occur when certain are circumstances are present. This series of blogs is based in the second meaning, but it is recognized that a failure to know and understand these syndromes will result in a weak, anemic and sick Local Church Sports Outreach.
What is a Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry Syndrome
Some are called “Church Recreators,” some have the title of “Sports Director.” The list seems almost endless: “Activity Pastor,” “Recreation Minister,” “Family Center Administrator” and “Sports Minister.” While they have different names, most share similar experiences when it comes to being under-appreciated, misunderstood, over-worked and under paid. Most Local Church Sports Outreach Syndromes find their origins in the fact that Sports Outreach Ministry is unique and much different from most of the other church ministries or departments.
The various Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry Syndromes include among others: “The Step-Child Syndrome,” “The All They do is Play Syndrome,” and “The King of the Hill Syndrome.” Each will be identified, defined and explained over the next number of weeks.
A Word of Caution
Sports Ministers are strongly urged to engage in this series of blogs in the spirit of taking the information shared in these blogs for the purpose of building bridges to other church staff and ministries, rather than using them in any self-serving or vindictive way. A church that has all of its ministries well organized and synchronized is far more efficient and effective in attaining its evangelistic-disciplemaking mandates and goals. These syndromes are provided to enhance and expand local church impact, not start a war amongst church leaders.
Next week’s blog will discuss the first Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry Syndrome – “The Step-Child Syndrome”
This blog is an original composition from Dr. Linville. 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.