Friday, April 23, 2021

Discipleship with Sportspeople

For just over forty years, I have been in the process of making disciples. For the past thirty-five years, I have been using the same approach to this process. I learned it from my mentor, Fred Bishop of No Greater Love Ministries (NGL) http://nogreaterlove.org/. This approach is very simple, but allows for tremendous depth and flexibility for both the disciple-maker, and the disciple.

Having now served the sporting world for almost 27 years, and continuing to make disciples along the way, this approach has proven to be quite effective. Please consider using this model or modifying it to suit your purposes. The form I use is attached as a pdf and pictured below. It focuses on four areas of development of Christian life. Prayer – Study – Christian Community – Sharing One’s Faith. With sportspeople, I often call these exercises or drills that we practice to develop our lives in Christ. I will explain, demonstrate, and assign a process or a resource for exercising, and in succeeding sessions we will review their discoveries, insights, and answer their questions. I always emphasize that Christian discipleship is a life-long process of growth and development.

 

I simply show the prospective disciple the diagram, explain that one’s life in Christ is developed through a vertical relationship with God in prayer and study, as well as horizontal relationships with other believers (Christian Community) and with people yet to believe (the sharing of one’s faith). The stronger one’s relationship with God grows, the shadow cast among the people surrounding him or her will be stronger and broader. Then I ask them, “Where would you like to start?” This question allows the disciple to indicate his or her greatest interest up front, leading to a greater likelihood of success and long-term development.

Once the starting point is determined (almost always Prayer or Study), I flip the page over and begin to share processes and resources that facilitate our growth. Once we have delved into that first element, mastered its processes, we can choose another point in the diagram, and begin its development. I have found it best to ask the disciple each time, “Where should we go next?”



 

It’s also wise to determine the duration of your discipleship process together. You can determine to meet for a set number of sessions, weeks, or months. To not set a timeline often leads to a sense of dread and failure if the frequency of meetings decline or circumstances cause you to stop meeting. Set the duration, complete those sessions, then determine if you should keep meeting or if it’s time to move on.

Obviously, if there are resources you prefer or processes you like better, substitute them. These have been most helpful to me and to those I have discipled.

Let’s make disciples. This is my process, as adapted from a mentor. If you don’t have a process, this one is better. Choose one and get after it.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mentoring Sports Chaplaincy

In delivering Sports Chaplaincy Training:

  • Some people Teach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Other people Coach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Still other people Mentor Sports Chaplaincy.

We who mentor sports chaplaincy (character coaching) do so with an eye toward continuing personal and professional development with our mentee(s). Most often, the mentorship takes place on an individual basis, rather than with a group. It can be delivered in person or via electronic media. Mentors in sports chaplaincy provide a broad view, lending perspective across a career. They’re less involved in the teaching or coaching of techniques, methods, or strategies than they are in sharing their insights, experiences, and expertise. This often leads to telling stories, asking challenging questions, and occasionally directly sharing wise counsel.

If you mentor sports chaplains, be sure to help your mentees gain perspective. Keep their overall wellbeing in mind. Help them develop their own vision, set goals, determine best practices, and lend wise counsel as it’s requested. Your mentees may gather great value by simply spending time in your altruistic presence.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Coaching Sports Chaplaincy

In delivering Sports Chaplaincy Training:

  • Some people Teach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Other people Coach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Still other people Mentor Sports Chaplaincy.

Today we’ll discuss Coaching Sports Chaplaincy. We who train sports chaplains (character coaches) focus on the development of skills and use questions to help the trainee discover the why and how that shape their expressions of it. We who coach sports chaplains strive for understanding and processes that deliver excellent ministry. As we discuss ideas, options, strategies, and methods with trainees, we aim to help them apply the ideas to their local contexts; the community, the club or institution, the team, the coaching staff, and the competitors.

If you coach sports chaplaincy as your method of training, do it with patience and thoughtfulness. Coaching takes time and intentional leadership. Coaching sports chaplaincy will lead to depth of service, excellent ministry, and long-lasting results.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Teaching Sports Chaplaincy

In delivering Sports Chaplaincy Training:

  • Some people Teach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Other people Coach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Still other people Mentor Sports Chaplaincy.

Today we’ll discuss Teaching Sports Chaplaincy. When we teach Sports Chaplaincy we take an academic approach to it. It’s about the delivery and processing of information. We assign books to read, make presentations, deliver lectures, and otherwise aim to improve the trainee’s knowledge of the subject. The focus is usually on principles and practices. It may include research, writing papers, or making presentations to demonstrate the knowledge gained by the trainee.

Teaching of Sports Chaplaincy happens at universities, in seminary classrooms, in sports ministries’ meeting rooms, and via virtual learning platforms.

If you teach Sports Chaplaincy, teach it effectively. Go for depth of understanding. Train minds and hearts to serve wisely. We need you to help the sports chaplaincy community be a healthy, intelligent, and well-integrated form of ministry.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Sports Chaplaincy Training Methods

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sending some thoughts re: how we help people learn about sports chaplaincy or character coaching. The information and training that equips and empowers a person so serve in this role may be delivered in several ways. I will outline three delivery methods today and one each week to follow.

In delivering Sports Chaplaincy Training:

  • Some people Teach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Other people Coach Sports Chaplaincy.
  • Still other people Mentor Sports Chaplaincy.

Which do you do? Lean into it. Do it very well. Allow some room for others to do it in a different manner.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Sports Chaplains Community Update

Here’s an update on the Sports Chaplains Community website and app from Cede Sports’ Bob Dyar:

“I'm excited to share about two new features we've added to the Sports Chaplains Community:
1. We've updated the home screen to make it easier to navigate around the app.
2. We've created a map where we'll be adding all the Sports Chaplains in this community. It's not finished yet, but you can take a look for yourself on the link below.

We've now grown to almost 350 chaplains. Congratulations! We're excited to grow together.”

This site and app are of tremendous value, are still in development, and stand to be of even greater impact in the future.

The map featured is outstanding as a tool to help us connect people to other sports chaplains around the world.

In addition, an excellent orientation formerly at www.globalsportschaplaincy.org is now on this site. The orientation gives a person a clear “snapshot” of sports chaplaincy, enabling him or her to make a good decision as to whether or not to proceed with more intensive training. See the screenshot below.

Click the following link to go to the site - https://cedesports.disciplemedia.com

 



 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Links to Sports Chaplaincy / Character Coach Videos

Below are links to three separate YouTube playlists of interest to Sports Chaplains and Character Coaches.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzptqSHriZq8Obcxs5ualCnrY3AQsRq2S – presently has 423 videos from sports chaplaincy leaders and organizations across the globe on a wide variety of subjects.


https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBmzpllyhtqyL5YfSAi8WHre9-5-6L3y- presently has recordings from 31 Zoominars on a variety of issues and topics in sports chaplaincy.


https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBmzpllyhtqx4olugj8CIOXwu0_oG7gV9 – presently has 123 very brief videos (averaging 90 seconds) with very practical thoughts on best practices and principles for serving as a sports chaplain or character coach.


Discipleship with Sportspeople