SPORTSPASTOR


Tangible Love
September 25, 2008, 11:11 am
Filed under: church, evangelism, Life and Leadership, outreach, servanthood, service | Tags: , ,

As you have probably noticed I am working my way through Geore Barna’s book, Revolution. Having graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. in Religion and Sociology, I enjoy the process of evaluating Barna’s data and applying the truth in the context of ministry. Today I want to focus on one of Barna’s reports regarding servanthood.

Are you involved in acts of selfless service? Did you know that there is a better distraction from your daily grind than the television? Love becomes tangible when the people of God reach out to the hurting and needy people in their church and community. Notice I said church and community. Even though a person may look like they have it all together on Sunday morning, they are most likely struggling and hurting about someone or something. Minister to them. God wants us to go the extra mile to help those in need. Now about the city – think about the first church as described in the book of Acts. It says that they praised God and enjoyed the favor of all the people and as a result, “each day, the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Too many Christians come to church for themselves. I call this “menu-mentality” – what is on the menu of programming for my family and myself? Barna reports that only one out of every four believers will spend time in a given week serving others. Most people would rather give money to an organization that serves instead of rolling up their sleeves and truly being the hands and feet, the beautiful hands and feet that bring the Good News (Isaiah 52:7).

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Sharing the Gospel with Children

It is one of the highlights of my summer to direct the sports and recreation time during our church VBS week. In fact, I just arrived home from the training time. We have 350 volunteers that are preparing to minister to over 1,000 children. Needless to say, the place was packed! What pumps me up is that we are going to tell each child about Jesus in age appropriate ways. We will give the older participants a chance to respond to the Good News we share. But that brings up an important question: Do you ever find yourself using “churchy” words when sharing the Gospel with young people?

The truth is, it can easily happen. Using phrases like “give Jesus your heart” can often do more harm than good. In fact, a friend of mine once told me that he shared the Gospel with his grandson and was so pleased when the young boy “gave his heart to Jesus.” The next morning the young boy, with the most innocent childlike faith, came to ask Grandpa the following question: “If I gave my heart to Jesus, when do I die?” You see, he believed that he was actually giving his heart to Jesus! That is one example of “churchy” words causing confusion even with a careful presentation of the Gospel. Some of the greatest evangelists I know recommend the phrase “trust Christ.” We use that term at our summer sports camps and at VBS and it works great. It is so important to be clear when sharing the Gospel with children.



Sports Ministry Core Value #5 – Service

Ministry leaders must seek to mobilize the church body to become actively involved in the Sports Outreach Ministry in a way that best matches their gifts and interests. When you mention sports and ministry in the same sentence you usually will have a tremendous response. Spend the first year of ministry modeling leadership to your ministry volunteers before they become leaders themselves. Approach mobilization with the philosophy of recruiting servants and then teaching them how to lead, rather than recruiting those that are just interested in leadership. Look for people that desire to follow Paul’s words in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”