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Biblical Foundations
of Sport Ministry:
Encouraging Healthy
Competition

Presented to Atlanta SOLD
March 5, 2009

IS SPORT GOOD OR
EVIL?

Is Sport Good or Evil?
Could it be that certain sports are evil in its structural design?

Is Sport Good or Evil?
Could it be that we play in an evil way, although the sport itself
may be generally good in it’s design?

IS COMPETITION
HEALTHY?

Position
The morality of competition is not
determined by the objectives of
the activity itself, but by the heart
of the participants.

Competition Defined
• Latin “competere”, strive in
common
• com = “together”
• petere = “to strive, seek”

Views On Competition
• Competition undermines
self-esteem, poisons relationships,
and holds us back from doing our
best.
• Competition invites outright
aggression.
• Sportsmanship is nothing more
than an artificial way to try to limit
the damage of competition.

New Definition
“Is two opponents coming together
to agree for the purpose of
bringing the best out in each other,
not the worst.”

Born to Play
IMAGE
GENESIS 1:26-28

TALENTS
GENESIS 2:15-17

RELATIONSHIPS
GENESIS 2:18-25

The Professional Foul
IMAGE
GENESIS 3:8-10

TALENTS
GENESIS 3:17-19

RELATIONSHIPS
GENESIS 3:16

Back in the Race
IMAGE
ROMANS 12:1-2

TALENTS

ROMANS 12:3-8

RELATIONSHIPS
ROMANS 12:9-21

Conclusion
• There is no split between secular and
sacred in the mind of God.
• Competition is part of God’s creation
and is morally and ethically neutral.
• God filled the hearts of man with the
desire to play and compete with one
another in an effort to achieve their
best.
• As a result of sin, sport and competition
are in bondage.

Redeemed Competition
• As redeemed people through faith in
Jesus, we have the ability to restore
competition to what God intended.
• Sport can be played and enjoyed the
way God intended.
• What does redeemed competition look
like?

Consider
• Do everything for the glory of God
(I Cor. 10:31)
• Do nothing out of selfish ambition
(Phil. 2:3)
• Work at it with all your heart
(Col. 3:23)

Application
As church sport recreation leaders how
can we model what God intended for
competition?

Resources
• Lowrie McCown and Valerie J.
Gin, Focus on Sport in Ministry
• Graham Daniels and Stuart Weir,
Born to Play
• Graham Daniels and Stuart Weir,
The Sports Stadium

I would like to hear from you!
Send me your thoughts, observations or areas where you agree or
disagree with my conclusions on Encouraging Health Competition.

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