SPORTSPASTOR


JD Greear on Two Kinds of Churches
November 5, 2008, 7:28 am
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: , , , ,

Pastor Greear notes that “there are two kinds of churches–the kind where the church is an audience gathered to share in the personal fruitfulness of the pastor, and the kind where members are equipped to be fruitful themselves.” I have seen so many well-meaning churches limit their ministry to one main thing in the name of “Good to Great” and not in the name of Christ Jesus. These churches make it all about Sunday morning and forget that ministry also happens in the life of the believer Monday – Saturday. It is not about a Sunday Morning show centered around one charismatic leader. It is not about observation, it is about multiplication. Church leaders should equip the saints for the work of ministry. Go and make disciples – be a fruitful church that glorifies the Father (John 15). Read Pastor Greear’s complete post here.



Live a Life Worthy of the Calling You Have Received
October 26, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: , , , , ,

“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” These words are an exhortation of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1b. What are the characteristics of a life lived in such a way that it is worthy of the calling we have received from God? To discover the answer to this question you must first identify your calling. I believe that God will give you the passion to do what he has called you to do. For example, I am passionate about the calling on my life to equip believers to make the most of every opportunity to reach out to people who are far away from God through the most creative and relational means possible. Now if that is my calling, then how do I live life in such a way that it would be worthy of this calling I have received?

Colossians 4:5-6 offers further insight into my calling and the answer to this question: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” I looked at a number of Bible commentaries and based upon careful exposition have drafted a version of this selection of Scripture in my own words: Believers should live in such a way that they will attract, inspire, and convict non-Christians, giving them a favorable view of the Gospel and the church. Believers should have a verbal witness that is winsome, full of character and worthy of respect.

A healthy balance of faith and practice make a lasting, positive impression on a person who is far away from God. This means that we are responsible for living a life worthy of the calling we have received.



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).



Extreme Makeover: Sports Edition

One of my favorite TV shows is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It is rare you will find me watching television that is not sports related, but this reality series has grabbed my heart and attention. Why? Because they provide not only a new home, but a custom home based upon the specific needs of a deserving family. The best part is that the entire community comes together to show love in a tangible way that will make a lasting impact on a family in need.

Last night’s episode hit close to home for me. A blended family of seven were living in a house that was only 600 square feet, because they could not afford anything bigger. The father had grown up on the streets and made costly mistakes that he was determined his children would not make. The part that was special to me is that this family loved sports and both the mom and dad were youth sports coaches who serve the families in their community. They even run the concession stand at the local sports complex. Now the families in their community had a chance to serve them.

So the family goes on vacation to Disney World for 7 days while the builders and volunteers from the community build them a brand new home. When they arrive home to see their new place they are informed that an anonymous donor paid off their mortgage. Wait. It gets better. West Virginia University also committed to cover tuition for all five children when they are ready to attend college.

This is true community. If your church sports program is inward focused you are missing the point. You are missing a opportunity to share the love of Christ in word and deed. Our words alone are not going to change the world. It is when they are accompanied by loving acts of service that the world will stop in their tracks and wonder what motivated such compassion. And I know that for many on Extreme Makeover, they are giving back to their community as a means to reflect the love of Jesus to the world He came to save.