Volume 3 of the OVP Institute of Sports Ministry Series.
Putting the Church Back in the Game is CSRM’s third installment in our Institute of Sports Ministry Book Series. It gives a clarion call for local churches to recognize they are ordained by God to reach those far from Jesus, and that Sport, Recreation and Fitness Outreaches are the most strategically-relevant and efficiently-effective methodologies congregations have to "get back in the game" of Gospel-Centric, Evangelistic-Disciplemaking. This is the first book in the series that lays the theological foundations written by Dr. Greg Linville who is joined by contributing authors: Greg English (Minister of Recreation - Cool Spring Baptist Church & Adjunct Professor of Chowan University) and P. F. Myers (CSRM's International Director).
Dr. Greg Linville is a Sports Outreach Ministry visionary, a leading theologian, apologist for sports ministry and a tireless advocate for the local church sports outreach movement. Linville’s sports ministry career began as an urban director for the YMCA and Young Life ministries with inner-city kids and gangs and continued as a highly successful high school and college basketball coach including receiving two Coach of the Year awards for the state of Ohio Athletic Association. Linville’s local church Sports Ministry included 15 years as the director of sports and recreation outreach at an Evangelical Friends Church where he supervised the efforts of over 500 volunteers and a dozen staff and interns reaching over 2,000 people per week. Dr. Greg served as CSRM’s executive director from 1999-2018 and has long been regarded as a leading academician in the sports outreach ministry field including being awarded the world’s first Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in Sports Ministry from Briercrest Seminary as well as completing the first earned doctorate with a concentration in sports outreach. His other academic roles include many years as a tenure-track, assistant professor of ministry and as an adjunct professor at various seminaries, universities and colleges in three different countries. He currently serves as the dean of The AGON Institute of Sports Ministry and as an adjunct professor for South African Theological Seminary (SATS) and Barclay Seminary. In addition to being an author of many articles, an editor for numerous sports ministry manuals, a contributor of chapters to various sports ministry books and hosting a regular CSRM blog he was chosen to write the insert/commentary for the official Olympic Bible given to all Salt Lake City Olympic athletes. His seminal book Christmanship: A Theology of Competition and Sport was published in 2014 by Oliver House Publishing and considered by many the definitive theological foundation for the sports outreach movement. Dr. Greg is currently serving as CSRM’s director of resources and general editor for the Overwhelming Victory Press twelve book series: The Institutes of Local Church Sports Outreach.
“Dr. Greg Linville has written another powerful must-read book for anyone seeking to fulfill their call to Sport, Recreation and Fitness (SR&F) Outreach Ministries. I believe this to be the first time that the theology of the Church has ever been considered in relationship to SR&F outreach. This is a remarkable book written by an incredible leader and most importantly a Man of God whose global vision and intention is equipping the local church to change lives through sports around the world.”—Susan Stewart. 1996 Olympian, Sports Ministry Coordinator of Praise Cathedral Worship Centre, Sports Ministry Consultant