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 #2 – Philosophical Principles part of the 3-Tier Paradigm.
Whereas, Level #1 Theological Truths provide the Why of local church sports ministry, Level #2 Philosophical Principles provide the driving force behind When, Where and With Whom churches direct and conduct their sports and recreational outreaches.
When, has to do with, and is derived from, two Level #1 Theological Truths: a) Sabbath and Lord’s Day; and b) Ecclesiology (the theology of The Church) as it relates to the When of traditional congregational worship services. However, When, just as often has to do with determining the right time of the year, month, week and/or day, based in Biblically-based Philosophical Principles concerning how to plan and implement sports outreach activities which best exemplifies concern, sensitivity and love in regards to individual and family schedules, safety and well-being.
Where refers to facilities that are safe, winsome, available and functional. Biblical principles such as ensuring participant’s safety and over all well-being, help Sports and Rec Ministers determine if the facilities they own, lease, rent or borrow, create a warm and engaging atmosphere which provides an overall excellent and positive experience. Where also takes into consideration such things as easy connectivity for families during sports ministry activities and also in terms of driving time to and from a facility.
With Whom, is based on the biblical principle of mission. A key component of Missiology (the theology of evangelism and missions) is that The Church is commanded to go and “make disciples.” Paul outlines this programmatic principle in 1 Corinthians when he lays out the philosophy: “I became all things to all people…” In essence, this passage exhorts Christians to understand there are differences between various people groups and each will need to be reached through different Methodological Models based on the biblically-based Philosophical Principle of “becoming all things.” With Whom, has to do with the identification of a local congregation’s geographic and demographic positioning...and thus, whom are they positioned to most effectively reach. Once a congregation recognizes who they are to serve and minister to, they will be better able to envision relevant strategies of outreach, based upon biblically-based philosophies.
Unfortunately, most sports, recreation and fitness ministries start with the What without ever considering the need to base their What on Why or Where, When and With Whom. This is why many of the current models don’t meet the 4-Fold Evaluation Rubric.
Next week’s blog will discuss the Level #3 Methodological Models of the 3-Tier Paradigm.
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 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
 I Corinthians 9.19-23.
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.