Category Archives: Bible Studies

The Gospel Is…

By Bob Schindler, Director of Church Sports Outreach (CSO)

Here are a couple of thoughts about the Gospel that I have found very helpful:gospel

“The gospel is not a set of instructions.  It is an announcement.”  Tim Keller

The gospel is not just a set of propositional truths.  It is first and foremost a story, THE STORY.”

“The overall drama of Scripture forms a single plot whose main twists and turns nonetheless converge remarkably on a main theme.”  N.T. Wright

“We usually read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories each with a moral for how we should live our lives.  It is not.  Rather, it comprises a single story…”  Tim Keller

We will never begin to understand our lives and ministries or what this so-called gospel is that Christianity speaks of until we understand the story in which we have found ourselves.”  John Eldredge

[The Gospel] is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight…This is the fairy tale of the Gospel with of course one crucial different from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that is it true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept happening ever since and is happening still.”  Frederick Buechner

How about you?  What have been some good thoughts you have for the Gospel?

 

 

The One Thing That is Sure to Kill Your Ministry

What is the one thing that will kill your ministry faster than anything else?

PRIDE.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has a passing familiarity with the Proverbs. There is nothing that kills effective ministry faster than pride (even if that ministry seems to be thriving on the outside). Consider the following:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. (Prov. 21:4)

“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. (Prov. 21:24)

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Prov. 8:13)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Prov. 11:12)

Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. (Prov. 18:12)

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Prov. 29:23)

Seven times in these passages, God’s Word says the same thing:

Pride is an abomination.
It leads to destruction.
It brings disgrace.
It humiliates.
It is hated by God.

We dare not pass over these words quickly. If God truly hates pride this much, then we must consider our actions in the face of criticism and in light of success. If we follow the wisdom of Scripture we see that seeking celebrity will kill our ministries. Bad company will kill our ministries. And failing to listening to wise counsel will kill our ministries.

Do we get the picture, yet?

To be proud in ministry is to jeopardize our ministry—to risk God, in his loving kindness, humiliating us if we start foolishly believing that the number of people who show up matters, how many copies of our books are sold or that we’re above being corrected (even by nobodies who apparently attend Star Trek conventions and live in their moms’ basements). Brothers in ministry, let this never be said of you. Surround yourself with godly men who love you enough to tell you the truth, accept criticism well and fear God above all else. Wisdom and humility will save our ministries—pride will destroy them.

*Blog provided by SCN’s sister ministry, Church Sports Outreach and its director, Bob Schindler*

 

 

Vision

Chapel – Vision

1 – Your coaching staff and your senior leaders have a vision for your team. To be champions is a vision worth believing in and pursuing.

2 – Habakkuk 2:2-3 (read the text)
• Record the vision…
o Write it down.
o Talk about it with your teammates.
o How would you keep a vision like this in front of you?
• For an appointed time… Destiny.
o Do you have a sense that we’re on a track toward being a great team? That comes with vision.
• The vision is on the move without fail.
o What are some indicators of progress toward this goal for your team?
• It is certain…even if delayed.
o The delay has been long.
o Now it’s time to see the vision fulfilled.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Team Unity

Chapel – Team Unity

1 – Competitions like this one require tremendous team unity. Each one must bring his/her best to make the team all it can be.

2 – Think for a moment about how diverse your team is:
• Size
• Strength
• Background
• Ethnicity
• Skill sets
• Personalities

3 – Think about how the team is diminished if any one of you is at less than 100%.

4 – Think about how the team’s personality on the floor changes with each substitution. You are not interchangeable parts in a machine.

5 – Think about the factors which unify such a diverse set of people. These are most important.

6 – Ephesians 4:4-7 (read the text)
• One body / one Spirit / one hope of calling
• One Lord / one faith / one baptism
• One God / one Father
• Over all, through all, in all…
• But each one was given grace as a gift.
• Each one is uniquely gifted. All united, but not all the same.

7 – Today, your team will be most successful when each one brings the best of his/her unique giftedness to a unified effort with the whole team.
• You will be very good today as you play as one.
• Unified in purpose
• Unified in values
• Unified in strategy
• Unified in heart

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Suffering and Success

Chapel – Suffering and Success

1 – This is the sort of situation a competitor dreams about.
• We’re playing for a championship.
• All the events of this season and our combined character have lead us to this day.

2 – Suffering and success – they go together.
• Throughout this season we have experienced plenty of suffering.
o Injuries, infections, illnesses
o Disappointing losses
o Players lost to other issues
• We have also experienced great success.
o Big wins on the road
o Players winning awards
o Come from behind wins
o Great achievements by the coaching staff
o A conference championship
• Suffering and success have been closely linked. That is normal and even proper.

3 – I see a similar situation in Romans 8:18 (read the text aloud).
• By comparison, the suffering is far surpassed by the success!
• The enduring success totally eclipses momentary suffering.

4 – Examples from this team’s life:
• The pain of pre-season conditioning is far outweighed by the thrill of powerful second-half comebacks.
• The worry and anxiety related to a teammate’s illness or injury is greatly surpassed by the joy of seeing him restored to our team.
• The discomfort from injuries, concussions, infections, and illness pales in comparison when laid along side the victory we’ll achieve this evening.

5 – I encourage you to view this day’s pain and suffering as investments in the victory that awaits us. Make those investments again today and we’ll celebrate our success together.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Strength and Courage

Chapel – Strength and Courage

1 – Today’s contest will require strength and courage for us to finish the day with a victory.

2 – Strength and courage are character qualities required for all of life and especially for competition.
• Joshua 1:9 (read the text aloud).

3 – Be strong
• Strong of mind (focus well and tune out crowd noise)
• Strong of body (prepare to finish the contest strongly)
• Strong of soul (to deal well with momentum swings)

4 – Be courageous
• Before a strong opponent (skilled, strong…)
• Before a hostile crowd (tune out distractions)
• Before difficult conditions (noise, trash talk…)

5 – Wherever you go
• You have competed well on the road
o Game at ….
o Game at …
o Game at …
• Today in __________ let’s compete strongly.

6 – The challenge for today is to:
• Be strong
• Be courageous
• Believe in your team and its destiny
• Compete like a champion and you’ll be one

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Servant Leadership

Chapel – Servant Leadership

1 – Today’s competition will require a tremendous amount of leadership for us to be victorious. It will require a unique type of leadership.

2 – This kind of leadership is best described in Mark 10:42-45 (read the text aloud).
• This is not the usual kind of leadership – it’s not about power or position.
• To be a great leader – make those close to you better.
o Communicate well
o Lead your unit
• To be the best leaders – make your whole team better.
o Even those who annoy you
o Even those outside your responsibility
o Even the coaches
• To be a Christ-like leader – sacrifice for the team’s greatest good.
o Sacrifice playing time to further a younger player’s development
o Play through pain
o Submit to the game plan
o Press through difficult situations
o Free your teammates to become all they were created to be

3 – Lead strongly today
• Be great leaders
• Be the best leaders
• Be Christ-like leaders

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Sacrifice

Chapel – Sacrifice

1 – How does a competitor demonstrate genuine love for his teammates?
• In the book about Coach Joe Ehrmann, “Season of Life” it says that the coaches’ job is to love the players and the players’ job is to love each other.
• Over the last …… months you have done that.
• Let’s continue that in today’s contest.
• Such love and sacrifice could be the key to a victory today.

2 – This is a great scripture on this theme. I John 3:16-18 (read text aloud)
• Christ Jesus is our example – He laid down His life for us.
• We should lay down our lives for our teammates.
o Some have done this by changing positions in mid-season.
o Some have made adjustments in coaching style, daily schedules and more.
o Some are doing it daily as they play through pain, through injuries and more.
o We’re following Jesus’ example in so doing.
• “Let us not love with word and tongue, but in deed and truth.”
o Talk is easy, deeds are tough.
o Talk is cheap, deeds are costly.
o Talk works on practice days, deeds work on game day.
o Words are good for newspapers, truth is good for teammates.
o Words please radio listeners, truth pleases your coaches.

3 – Today, win or lose, we’ll be successful if we:
• Follow Christ’s example and lay down our lives for each other.
• Love not with word and tongue.
• Love in deeds and in truth.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Rewards

Chapel – Rewards

1 – Today we will discuss ironic nature of rewards in sport.
• The rewards are the same for the freshman playing his first season as for the senior playing his last season.
• The rewards for the first year coach are the same as for the twenty year veteran of coaching.
• At the end of the game or the end of the season, the rewards are the same.

2 – Jesus told a story about this in Matthew 20:1-16 (read the text aloud).
• Let’s say that a denarius is worth $20.00
• The guys who worked 6:00 am to 6:00 were paid $20.00
• The guys who worked noon to 6:00 were paid $20.00
• The guys who worked 5:00 pm to 6:00 were paid $20.00

3 – It’s similar in the life of our team relate to rewards.
• Differing levels of experience receive the same reward.
• Differing levels of understanding receive the same reward.
• Senior players, juniors, sophomores, even freshmen receive the same reward.

4 – Young players, give proper respect to the veterans.
• Appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made for the program.
• You probably think this level of success is a given, but it has not always been this way.
• (Recite the names of the eldest players who have invested deeply in the team’s success for a long time.)
• Like the workers who started at 6:00 am, you enjoy these rewards due to grace.

5 – Veterans, don’t be envious of the young players’ good fortune.
• They are at the right place at the right time.
• Their contributions to the team are a large part of our success.
• Like the workers who started at 5:00 pm, you enjoy these rewards due to grace.

6 – In today’s contest, pursue, achieve and celebrate a great victory. You will all receive the same rewards; a victory, a championship and memories for a lifetime.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Prayer

Chapel – Prayer

1 – Many people misunderstand our purpose in conducting a chapel for our team.
• Some think that if we pray it will result in a win.
• Some think that if we go to chapel we are more likely to win.
• Some think that if we pray we get God on our side.
• So what’s the point?
• Does God even care about who wins today?

2 – Joshua 5:13-15 sheds some light on such questions (read the text aloud).
• Joshua and his people are about to enter a very strategic battle.
• He sees a man with his sword drawn.
• He says, “Whose side are you on?”
• He’s asking the wrong question.
• Joshua immediately understands who the Lord is and who the servant is. He sees the big picture.

3 – Our purpose in chapel and prayer (saying the Lord’s Prayer) and even for my prayers for you individually…
• It’s not to win God’s favor or to get Him on our side.
• It’s not to make God a good luck charm for our team.
• It is to align our hearts and minds with God’s way of doing things.
• The real question is, “Whose side are we on?”

4 – Today’s challenge –
• Resolve to compete wisely and well and you will be on God’s side.
• Commit your heart to your team and you’ll be going God’s way.
• Sacrifice your personal goals and aspirations for the higher aim of team success and you’ll be doing exactly what Jesus would do.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org