Let me start this blog by saying I love my colleagues who God has used to build and run large church sports ministries. I’m convinced that many people will worship Jesus for eternity because of their efforts. And, much of what I have learned since God led me into sports ministry as my vocation in 1992, I learned from them. I say thank you men and women.
However, if sports is the greatest bridge to those who are lost (and I am convinced it is in America), then how can it be employed simply and organically and still be ministry-effective? If a church has no sports facilities (or no facilities at all), no staff dedicated to sports ministry, no budget to allocate, can that church still employ the greatest bridge to share The Greatest Story Ever Told? I shout a loud “Yes they can!”
Over the next four months I will blog ways that I believe a church can very simply and organically employ sports (or any leisure activity) to build relationships with people who don’t attend a Christ-magnifying church which prayerfully will lead to significant conversations about the wonder of Jesus.
Why incorporate sports?
Sports and recreation activities can be employed simply and organically to build relationships with the people God is calling you to reach.
As you pray and work to reach out in your community, consider how simply playing a game or engaging in a recreational activity might help you meet people in your community whom you might not connect with any other way. Sports and rec activities can be employed with limited people, time, and financial resources – and no sports facilities! It is easier and more organic than you might think. You do not need to create a big sports ministry machine in order to meet and reach people in your community. Again, I’m not saying large sports ministries are not valuable, they are extremely valuable and effective – but it is not a prerequisite to employing sports for effective ministry.
The three principles below (over the next three blogs) will help you build relationships with people who can then, in a very natural way, see and hear the Gospel. As a result of the relationships built through sports, this can happen in a natural and friendly environment.
Thanks for reading. I’ll blog again next month.
Steve Quatro – Director SOLA / Former CSRM Director of Operations / Azusa Pacific University Faculty
This blog is written by Steve Quatro. 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 Steve Quatro are archived at: www.csrm.org
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.