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Competition/Sports, Evangelism/Discipleship, Local Church, Ministry Development

It’s better to walk in the freedom of the truth than agonize in the disappointment of a loss! I know as an athlete you HATE to admit that anyone is better than you, but sometimes that is the case, and it is liberating when you are able to bury the pride and admit it…

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Local Church

What an exciting privilege to be a part of how the Lord moves through the annual international REACHgathering conference (www.reachgathering.org)! It was a great time of inspiration, affirmation, connection and equipping at this year’s event which was hosted by Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee from April 19-21. We had participants from fourteen countries on four continents who are using sports as a bridge for the gospel. It was inspirational to see the global Sports Ministry movement represented in such an incredible way.

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Gospel Centricity, Local Church, Ministry Development
At the REACHgathering this year, there were 14 tracks (topic led workshops), and that’s not including the Main Sessions we had! Definitely was difficult to choose which ones to attend!tg0YwXI- I did go to a few different tracks and participated in some fantastic workshops that challenged me in many ways. The following is a compilation of notes from each session (excluding the Main ones) I attended. Gospel Centered Track: What Difference Should Being Truly Gospel-Centered Make -Quoted Paul D. Tripp: “Our weaknesses are not in the way of productive ministry, but our delusions of independent strength are.” -What is the Gospel? It’s a STORY. There are the “4 Chapters of the Gospel” which are: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. This is a “Gosepl from the air.” -On the other hand, there are the “7 Windows of the Gospel” which include: Fall/Sin, Judgement, Cross, Resurrection, Faith, Eternity/Heaven. This is a “Gospel on the ground.” -There is a critical move that must take place when we’re communicating the Gospel: LAW -> GRACE. Crucial to communicate this, because you want it simple, like It is. First communicating the Preciousness of the Gospel, then Sharing it. Personal Development Track: Building Trust and Relationships at Home, Work, and Play -Summarized the Bible and our entire life into one word: Relationship -Spoke on TRUST, and how that is built relationally on our words, and our actions and how they line up. -Two pillars make Trust possible: Integrity & Love -examples of how someone may be loving, but may not live with integrity so trusting that person is next to impossible. Or vice-versa. Biblical example: Matt. 14:24-31 Jesus is telling Peter, “I won’t let you down.” So how do we build T.R.U.S.T? -Time, time, & time. You have to spend time together. -Respond with excellence: Not becoming defensive, follow through with what you promise, and be timely with your responses. -Understand & exceed expectations: Always going to have expectations, and not always will they be met. So there’s a gap between expectations and reality. We can choose what goes into that gap: Anger or Love? -Serve willingly & creatively: Adopt Philippians 2:3 -Truth teller: No lies, someone who’s been caught lying will destroy whatever trust was built. Leadership Track: How to Make Strategic Planning Simple and Practical -What is Strategic Planning: Plan, Guide, stay focused, good direction, [keeps the] end in mind, gives you Peace. It’s a continuous and systematic process of envisioning desired future; making decisions about future outcomes; how outcomes are to be accomplished; how execution will happen. -1. Planning without execution is a dream. 2. Execution without planning is a free-for-all. -Why do it? We have a tendency to want to DO and not sit back and plan first. But we wouldn’t plan a trip without a map..so that’s why it’s so important! Look at the Bible and what it says about planning: Luke 14:28 and Prov. 21:5 are great examples. What would it look like for the Gospel to influence our strategic plan? Rom. 1:16 & Matt. 28:16-20 (At the end of the discussion, the leader ran us quickly through a great diagram designing a plan, and how to execute that plan, called Strategic-Economic-Execution Fit (“S-E-E Fit”), Strategic Planning Framework) Leadership Track: Getting More Done by Being Clear RASCI Chart: Create this for your team so that tasks get accomplished and people have a role -Responsible – someone is helping something be completed -Accountable – 1 person is held accountable for results -Supporting – someone helping completion of 1 or more tasks -Consulted – someone brought into meetings for advice -Informed – someone who is kept up to date with project status Decide at what level the RASCI chart is going to be developed and followed. How strict? How in depth should it be for our team/for this task at hand? -The chart definitely gives a good picture of who’s the over-committed staff -And It shows the issue of responsibility and accountability Some key terms and concepts: -The Key Result Areas (KRA) – Essentially it removes the “job description” for a team member/employee -A “Personal Dashboard” is also important: it’s a document used in regular meetings and how are the goals or the growing is happening -Crucial to understand how “Good/bad” jobs interact/coincide and it’s split up between people. Not just me doing it all! Gospel Centered Track: Injection vs. Integration -Sports can be used as a bridge (to reach the unreached) and a laboratory (to transform people). John 17:17! Easy to inject instead of integrate. Injecting: Interrupting the sports or just slapping on some Bible message at the end of a game/practice. Integrating: i doing sports and then during them relate it to a life application and at the same time bring in some Biblical Truth/verse that fits! SPORTS: When needing to teach a skill, ask these questions: What are the components of this skill that need to be learned? What are the underlying principles (physically and mentally) that are required to complete this skill? LIFE: Pick one of these components or principles, and ask this question: Where do your players have to exercise this sports principle in their daily lives? TRUTH: Pick one of these life situations, and ask: What biblical passages speak about this principle or life situation? Gospel Centered Track: Roundtable discussion On the last day in each of the tracks, there was a roundtable discussion. For this one, it started with prayer and the question of, “What are you still unsure about, or what do you want to discuss more?” Mine was the feeling of information overload. REACH had been a time of serious learning but I wasn’t sure how to start applying it all. Where do I start? -Some said to focus on what gives me peace and contentment. Others said if I am intentional in teaching others this good info. and am ready to communicate it, then more of it will stick. -Also good to recognize that all information is not the same – there are different categories of what I’ve heard. Ask the question: “Is that a simple concept I can easily remember and apply, or a complex one that requires a whole different mindset that’d be great if I could change.” -So reteach it, get ahold of someone that will care to listen to you. -Focus on 1 or 2 big lessons that really make an impact on me. Remember those and work on applying those. That’s it for now! Feel like you missed out? Well..don’t! Here’s to REACHgathering 2017, and you can register now!
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Competition/Sports, Evangelism/Discipleship, Local Church, Ministry Development
Well, another REACHgathering is in the books. For three days (April 19-21) about 150 people, who are dedicated to using sports to reach people with the Good News, met at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN for the event.bibleverse_listening It was another fantastic, eye-opening experience to what God is doing all over the world through sports..and the lives that are preaching the Gospel through sports, which are being changed just as much. When in a position to help, I often forget that I may be the one that needs the most help. I go into a situation where I assume I know what to do and how to fix the problem. I go in with closed ears and a closed mind, and ready to tell the people struggling how I can help..before I know what their need is! It’s when this happens, that I’m blind to how they in fact may be ready to serve me and teach me what I lack. This is a completely new mindset. Many do not want to grasp this new mentality because it is a lowering of oneself. Admitting that one does not know what’s wrong and needs to listen to understand is tough, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a pride issue, or maybe it’s laziness. In either case, progress cannot be made until one steps down from his or her pedestal and submits to learning and not thinking, “I know it all already.” As the intern for CSO, I was tasked with promoting it and building more relationships at REACH. A fantastic opportunity for what I do best: meeting people. I did it a lot for my school, so I thought I’d be ready. However, being in a room full of sports ministers, fear set in. I completely didn’t think about my assignment and tried to “sell CSO” instead of listen to how people started working in sports ministry and what their struggles were. I felt I had to prove myself. So much of what I did at the conference the first day felt like failing. In fact, I need to rejoice, no matter how small the apparent success may be. The second day, after a discussion with my leaders Bob Schindler and Jeff Fox, I was rejuvenated. Through their leadership, God had stirred me up to care much more about with who I interacted. It was a great day and I made some fun connections. So let’s listen. To others’ needs, to what’s going on around us. Most importantly, to what God is trying to get us to understand, even if it’s just our need of Him and Him alone.
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