Local congregations have Worship Services, Christian Education and fellowship opportunities that meet on days other than Sunday, but it stretches the limits of credulity to suggest even a sizable minority of churches offer services to nurture a strong faith in any athlete that don’t conflict with the time of athletic trainings and practices. Christian athletes and coaches must face the facts that church activities most always conflict with sporting commitments. Sundays, Saturday evenings and most week night evenings are all consumed by athletic practices, conditioning and games. As hard as it is to say…and even harder to live out…Christian sportspeople must often make a choice between sport and faith. It is imperative for athletes and coaches to make room in their schedules for a commitment to regular, active participation with a church for the good of their own spiritual development; even if it means leaving sport. It should be pointed out that the same principle would apply to all vocations; sport cannot be singled out. If one’s career precludes or prohibits personal involvement in a local church, then a new career is necessitated.
Relationships and Fellowship
Another aspect of personal spiritual development is negatively impacted for want of regular participation in a local church. One’s faith is always enhanced by and through the personal relationships with other believers. Whether the relationships are peer based or more of a mentor to a mentee, regular fellowship is crucial to one’s spiritual journey. Furthermore, accountability partners are a must for everybody. This 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.
This blog is an excerpt from a future book "Surrounded by Witnesses" by Dr. Greg Linville. 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: http://www.csrm.org/blog/
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.