Relationships and Fellowship
This series of blogs is in the midst of a discussion about how vitally important it is to regularly participate in a local church’s activities for the enhancement of personal faith. In fact, one’s faith is always enhanced by and through the personal relationships and regular fellowship with other believers. Whether the relationships are peer-based or more of a mentor to a mentee, consistent and sustained fellowship is crucial to one’s spiritual journey. Furthermore, accountability partners are a must for anyone serious about growing in their faith. This latter area however, is one that is easiest met on days, and at times, other than Sunday. Times for such activities can be much easier scheduled around sporting commitments and this point should not be used to deter any sporting involvement. However, one’s personal growth is only one side of why a “sporty” Christian should be committed to regular participation in a local congregation’s activities…
One of the most overlooked aspects of the conflict between sports commitments and church participation is the loss to a church of the gifts, skills, passions and leadership of sportspeople who choose not to attend church functions when they conflict with sporting commitments. The Body of Christ is always negatively impacted when any individual and/or specific groups of people self-select to not be regularly involved in local church ministries, outreaches and activities. There is yet another key element of this point that often goes overlooked…
One of the prime rationales given by sporting people for their commitment to sports is they have a goal to reach the sporting world by using their sporting gifts and positions (proclamation platforms) for the benefit of the gospel. They should be highly commended and encouraged for this but I would challenge them to consider how much more effective they could be for the kingdom by applying their sporting gifts and position to a local church sports outreach ministry! Further implications of this are taken up in the Missiology and Soteriology chapters of the book from which this blog is an excerpt and also from the following blog in this series.
The next blog in this series will further contemplate the concept of sharing one’s faith through sporting opportunities
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
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.