The 3-Tier Paradigm
This series of blogs are excerpts from Dr. Linville’s yet to be released book. They explain and outline the 3-Tier Paradigm introduced in his book. The 3-Tier Paradigm is the organizational structure upon which Dr. Linville’s series of Sports Outreach Ministry books are based and serves as the guiding light for how the association of Church Sports & Recreation Ministries (CSRM) executes its equipping of local churches. This blog explains the Level #1 – Theological Truths part of the 3-Tier Paradigm
Some within the Body of Christ rightfully state the Church needs to be concerned and involved in efforts based upon other theological truths such as peace, justice and mercy but even the ultimate goal of peace and justice efforts is based upon redemptive activities and the ultimate goal of disciplemaking. This statement should not be misconstrued in any way to lessen the importance of enhancing temporal life on earth but rather it serves as a reminder to focus on keeping the “main thing the main thing.” Furthermore, the redemption of culture by bringing about peace, justice and mercy will only be attained by and through individuals living in the culture who have been “redeemed by Christ,” empowered by the Holy Spirit and living biblical lifestyles that honor and glorify the Father.
Therefore, the most important role of the Level #1 tier is to answer the Why question. Why does local church Sports Ministries do What they do? The foundational theological answer is: redemption; redemption through evangelistic-disciplemaking. This along with other foundational Level #1 Theological Truths will be discussed throughout this book.
There’s an old saying in sports outreach circles: “Christ is more caught than taught.” It is to this end, local church sports outreach ministries need to consider the ethical foundations of What they do. If the overall purpose of the sports and recreation outreaches is redemption, then envisioning, planning for and implementing the ministry upon loving Theological Truths is vital. Participants in a local church sport or recreational activity may not remember the final score of all their games but they will remember how they were treated and how they felt. One of the major goals of this series of blogs is to equip and mobilize local churches with the concepts to create environments in which Jesus Christ is “caught.” Ethics are the foundation for this environment and Christo-centric ethics are based in Theological Truth.
Congregations desiring to base their Level #3 Methodological Models in Level #1 Theological Truths need to understand what these truths are, and more importantly, how they are to shape their sports and fitness outreaches. These truths include such theological categories as ecclesiology, missiology and soteriology as well as other issues needing theological foundations such as worship, Lord’s Day principles, competition and others.
Why we do, What we do, begins with Theological Truths which serve to shape the biblically-based Philosophical Principles…
Next week’s blog will explain the second part of the “3-Tier Paradigm” – Level #2 – Biblically-based, Philosophical Principles.
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's book Christmanship and a yet to be released book. 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 email@example.com
Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports, sports theology and ethics written by Dr. Greg Linville are archived at: www.csrm.org
 CSRM’s 3-Tier Paradigm has implications beyond local church sports and can serve as a model for any missional ministry. In addition, all Bible Colleges, Universities and Seminaries are at their best when training from a 3-Tier Paradigm.
 Luke 19.10
 2 Corinthians 5.20
 Matthew 28.19f
 I wrote much of the Level #1 Theological Truths foundation in my book “Christmanship: A Theology of Competition and Sport.”
 These ethics are addressed in my book Christmanship and in my yet to be published book of which this blog is an excerpt.
 Again, these theological foundations are also dealt with in my two books.
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.