Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry Syndromes #5 – When do you Work
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” and were excerpts from Dr. Linville’s Manual: “Initiating A Sports Ministry in the Local Church.” 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.
The “Just When Do You Work Syndrome”
The elder’s wife came into the Sports Ministry office scowling. She completely ignored my pleasant greeting and countered with: “Just when do you work? I’ve been here the last three mornings and you’re never here.”
A Sports Minister’s Hours
By necessity a Sports and Recreation Ministry takes place during hours people are free from work and school commitments. Most can participate in leisure pursuits during late afternoons, evenings and weekends. Therefore, most Sports Ministers must work hours closely mirroring those times. A congregation’s Sports Minister’s day normally starts in mid-afternoon and doesn’t often end much before midnight. In addition, they work 12-16 hours on Saturday along with bearing different ministry responsibilities each Lord’s Day. By comparison, most other church staff members work a more typical 8-5 schedule, Monday through Friday, and have Saturdays off. This divergent schedule often stresses communication amongst staff, forcing staff members to work extra hard to communicate. Church staffs are encouraged to remember when planning staff and church meetings for early mornings that most Sports Ministry staff members have just gone to be a few hours before.
Other Schedule Conflicts
Another overlooked aspect of schedule differences is when to schedule whole-church business meetings, retreats and special events. Most of these meetings are conducted during prime ministry time for a Sports Minister. Most churches would never consider scheduling a business meeting at a time when the Sr. Pastor could not attend, or have to curtail his ministry to attend, yet in most cases, churches schedule such meetings at times that are in direct conflict with Sports Ministry activities. For the Sports Minister conducting a church meeting at 7:00 PM on a Thursday evening is akin to scheduling it for a Senior Pastor at 11:00 AM Sunday morning!
What’s a Sports Minister To Do?
Next week’s blog will start a series on overcoming obstacles in Local Church Sports Outreach Ministry
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's Manual - Initiating a Sports Ministry in the Local Church reproduced in “The Sports Minister” – Spring 2000. 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.