Decision for a Day, or Dedicated Disciple
While local church Sports Outreach Ministries and sports-oriented, para-ministries believe they strongly agree on the vital importance of evangelism, they may not realize the other group often applies a different meaning to the term evangelism. To many within the para-ministry world, it is defined as a “decision for the day.” Conversely, the way most of The Church world perceives the end goal of evangelism can best be described by the term: “dedicated disciple.” Thus, it follows, if the end goal of “a decision for a day” evangelism is to have someone raise a hand, fill out a form, say a prayer, or go forward at a meeting, then a ministry’s philosophy and all subsequent methodologies will be conceived and implemented to have these “decisions for a day” occur. However, if the end goal is to “go and make disciples,” both the philosophies and methodologies will be significantly different. The efforts to establish life-long, dedicated disciples entail a longer view and different approach.
For example, if a particular congregation and/or denomination believe the end of their efforts are to have participants in their sports and rec activities pray a prayer to receive Christ then the thrust of their endeavors go into creating opportunities for that. By contrast, if churches and denominations believe the end goal is baptism, church membership, attendance at church services, financial contributions to the church and/or participation in a bible study or disciple group, then they will organize their ministries towards those ends. The reality is, most churches tend to tip towards either evangelism (the initial efforts to reach those far from Christ) or towards discipleship (developing disciples to full spiritual maturity). Churches stress only one end of the continuum to the overall detriment of all involved. It is to this concern and for this reason; CSRM chooses to use the term evangelistic-disciplemaking. The reason it does so will be explored over the next number of blogs….
The next blog will continue the discussion on evangelistic-disciplemaking and its relevance 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 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/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.