The "5B's" of the Sports Outreach Movement: Envisioning Evangelistic-Disciplemaking Through Local Church Sports Outreach Part #3
The “5-B’s Rubric of Evangelistic-Disciplemaking” of The Sports Outreach Movement
This series of blogs describes and explains the “5-B’s” of Evangelistic-Disciplemaking of The Sports Outreach Movement. It will explain the first “B” - Belonging
Overcoming the two “Dysconnects”
So far this series of blogs has identified two dysconnects for connecting people to the church. This blog will explain how to overcome these dysconnects.
Overcoming for sports-related, para-ministries
For sports-related, para-ministries, the key to overcoming both dysconnects, but especially the second, is an honest assessment of how difficult it is for a ministry to reorder itself in such a way as to be fully incorporated, and in full partnership with, local churches. Rather than seeing the para-ministry’s current efforts as the ultimate end, such para-ministries will best serve the kingdom by re-envisioning their goal to be about empowering and enabling local church efforts with the ultimate goal of making dedicated disciples of Christ who are active members of a local church. This is no small shift, nor is it done without extreme resolve. (I have written in detail about a new model for para-ministries and sports chaplaincies in two different venues. The first was a series of blogs [the series was featured in April of 2015 and can be found in the blog archives of CSRM at http://www.csrm.org/blog and a specific blog in that series addressing the new proposed model can be found at: http://www.csrm.org/blog/is-sports-outreach-effective-7 ]. The second venue was in a chapter of the book entitled: Sports Chaplaincy: Trends, Issues and Debates, published by Farnham of Ashgate, England and edited by Drs. Andrew Parker, Nick Watson and John White).
Overcoming for the local church
For a local church, the difficulty lies in re-envisioning its Sports Outreach activities to be: a) excellent in all things athletic and, perhaps even more radical; b) to be aligned with the leisure pursuits of the church’s members rather than by “what’s always been done,” or by “what has worked elsewhere.”
Regardless, both the para-ministry world and the local church world need to reorder their way of thinking (theological / philosophical) so as to create the most strategically-relevant and efficiently-effective model (methodological) possible.
Intentional Reordering of the Sports Outreach Community’s Methodology
The intentional reordering of a methodology is not only vital to the success of a ministry and/or a congregation’s evangelistic-disciplemaking efforts but also to the expansion and enhancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!
Summary of overcoming the two Dysconnects
Belonging, the first “B,” is vital to the overall evangelistic-disciplemaking success of sports ministries because it is the “vehicle” which can transport an unchurched person along the entire spiritual journey needed to become a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ. However, two adjustments must be adopted for most churches. The first adjustment assumes a local congregation is committed to provide a vibrant and excellent sporting environment in which the unchurched person encounters a warm and welcoming community of current church members. The second has to do with building the Sports Outreach around the leisure pursuits of the current members of the congregation. These will be the topic of the next blog.
This blog is an excerpt from chapter #3 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 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.