ST. Patrick...The Man, The Myth, The Model for Sport, Recreation and Fitness (SRA&F)Ministers...
Really you say! What can I possibly learn from some guy who's been dead for nearly two millennia? A lot...
The Man: Patrick was really a Briton who felt a call to reach the Celtic Barbarians...and he followed that call even though he was quite a bit older than the normal life expectancy of his day. His mission work in Ireland set in motion a Celtic model of Evangelistic-Disciplemaking that continues to shape the SR&F Outreach Community.
The Myth: Patrick's story has became quite embellished through the years and increasingly secularized...all ending with a day that centers around Green Beer and ungodly revelry. Such "celebrations" and perspectives of Patrick could not be further from the truth.
The Reality: Patrick's efforts changed an entire culture and impacted eternity for millions. Patrick was incredibly effective in his Evangelistic-Disciplemaking efforts which resulted in: a) over 700 churches planted; b) thousands of missionary priests ordained; c) tens of thousands of barbarians being baptized; d) ongoing efforts that continue to reach those far from Jesus and His Church.
While I can only hope to even come close to those numbers, Patrick's model was a guiding light to my personal ministry as a local church Sports Minister. I incorporated the following principles into my SR&F Outreach Ministry....
Perhaps next year you can sponsor a St. Patrick's Day celebration that would include resourcing; training, equipping and empowering a new generation of local church SR&F Outreach Missionaries
Dr. Greg Linville is CSRM's Director of Resource Development and his latest book (Putting The Church Back in the Game) can be ordered through the CSRM website