CSRM has embraced the concept of Evangelistic-Disciplemaking for the following reasons...
First, it emphasizes the importance of both outreach (evangelism) and spiritual formation (disciplemaking). Evangelistic outreach is for the express purpose of making Disciples of Christ and thus, the significance of the concept of Evangelistic-disciplemaking becomes obvious. Both Evangelism and Disciplemaking are crucial and impossible without the other. The Church separates them to the detriment of all involved. Evangelism and Discipleship should be considered as one seamless whole. A church that only focuses on “deepening the faith” of their members (discipleship) not only shortchanges their members' spiritual growth by not molding them into “reproducing Christians,” but also, will experience the eventual death of the church through the lack of any new people being reached to become new believers/disciples of Christ. In contrast, and yet with a similar end, a church that only gets a person “saved” will not experience any growth because they are not producing disciples who become reproducing members who regularly participate in the body life of a local church.
Second, it eliminates the temptation to stop all evangelistic-disciplemaking efforts upon a person repeating the “sinner’s prayer” and/or becoming baptized. When getting someone “saved” is the only focus, many churches and ministries fail in their responsibility to finish the job to “go and make disciples.” The point is, evangelistic outreach cannot be separated from discipleship and vice versa. Thus, the descriptive phrase evangelistic-disciplemaking is more than just some clever turn of words. When properly understood, it helps churches (and para-ministries) focus on the ultimate goal: making disciples; rather than on one step in the disciple-making process: a decision for Christ.
Third CSRM uses the evangelistic-disciplemaking terminology because discipleship assumes membership and participation in a local church. It is a well-known fact that active and regular, weekly participation in a good church is a critical factor in the spiritual formation for individual believers and for the strengthening of marriages, families, communities and countries. “Getting saved” must assume long-term and strong connections with a Christ-honoring, bible-based church.
So to summarize, the evangelistic-disciplemaking concept for the Sports Outreach Movement is a Level #2 Philosophical Principle that, when understood and implemented, will qualitatively and quantitatively enhance and expand the ability of local churches to accomplish their mandate of fulfilling the Great Commission. In addition, it becomes obvious how and why the evangelistic-disciplemaking concept is vital to meeting the 4-Fold Evaluation Guide of ensuring Relevant, Strategic, Effective and Efficient local church Sports Outreach.
The next blog will describe the obstacles to implementing an Evangelistic-Disciplemaking based approach to Local Church Sport, Rec & Fitness Ministry
This blog is an excerpt from chapter #2 of Dr. Linville's 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 email@example.com
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: http://www.csrm.org/blog/archives/05-2016
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.