Intentional Outreach by Steve Quatro
Book review by Dr. Greg Linville
Intentional Outreach was the best Sport Ministry Book published in 2009. It simply “drips” with sage advice and wisdom from one of the Sports Outreach Era’s veterans – Steve Quatro. Steve’s laser focus on mobilizing local churches for evangelism is both instructive and insightful. His years of sowing, planting and cultivating evangelistic endeavors through Sports Outreach Los Angeles, CSRM, various local churches and more recently as a professor at Azusa Pacific University bears a rich harvest of fruit for anyone who would invest an hour or two with his treatise.
The book is divided into two sections. The first establishes the rationale for local church sports and recreation ministry: evangelism. The second provides six principles Quatro believes churches need to incorporate to “realize ministry success.”
Chapter #1 challenges local church leadership to get serious about reaching those far from God. The quotes from Ryle and Booth are must reads.
Chapter #2 using his Real Estate background as a foundation, Quatro establishes what he states is the “highest and best use” of local church sports ministry: evangelism.
Chapter #3 reveals some of Steve’s research on prayer and successful evangelism. His list on “prayerlessness” will challenge even the most devout Sports Minister and his suggestions for incorporating prayer into the lifeblood of the church will help even the most seasoned Sports Pastor.
Chapter #4 is a clarion call to base ministry upon vision, mission and purpose.
Chapter #5 issues a challenge to all Sports Ministers to keep their “spiritual tank full” so they might be able to succeed over the long haul. Quatro also highlights the importance of maintaining a moral authority in their leadership and points out developing leadership is no quick fix as outlined in the “Barnabas Method of systematic leadership training.
Chapter #6 is a primer on why relationships are vital to evangelism and how the creation of a “multiple-touch” sports ministry accelerates the evangelism process.
Chapter #7 has many nuggets, especially the suggestions for interfacing sports ministry outreaches with the broader church activities and people.
Chapter #8 is an encouragement to persevere.
New Concept Found in this Book
Impact Moments. Sports Ministry has long used the term Teachable Moment to describe a poignant opportunity in which Sports Outreach Ministers are able to communicate a “teaching” which emerges from some sporting or recreational activity. Quatro brilliantly builds upon the Teachable Moment concept to encourage Sports Evangelists to recognize and maximize the opportunities sporting endeavors often open up for an “Impact Moment.” Impact Moments enable Sports Ministers to sow a seed, cultivate a seeking soul or perhaps even reap a spiritual harvest of inviting someone to pray to receive Christ.
Catch Phrases Worth Remembering
Sports Ministers are not the Activity Directors for Church Families
If God answered all your prayers for the past seven days how many lost people would have come to know Christ as their personal Savior?
Athletically-oriented people tend to be doers. As a result they may have the tendency to charge into the task because they can get it done. Don’t limit God by your ability…
Points of Contention
I have three mild points of contention with Steve’s recommendation in Chapter 6.
The first has to do with co-ed sports. Co-ed youth leagues create a lot of gender confusion for an age group not able to decipher or process the deeper issues and can present modesty and touch issues for adults.
Secondly, I would prefer the mix of believer/non-believer to be weighted with more believers. I’d prefer it to be closer to 70-30 as I believe the gospel is more “caught than taught” and nothing can be caught if half or more of your league is unable to compete in a Christmanship ethic.
Thirdly, while I truly agree with Steve the verbal communication of the gospel could be presented in a more suave way by people who are more experienced and gifted, I think it would be a huge loss not to provide “the common bloke” a chance to share his faith, even if its not as professional. Sometimes, the sincere bumbling is more winsome and connects better than the most polished presenter.
These contentions need much deeper discussion. None should be misconstrued as denigrating the book or the author, nor should they keep anyone from gleaning the many other pearls the book provides.
Recommendations for a Second Edition
One recommendation would be to include more hard research data, especially if Steve desires this to be used by Colleges and Universities. This would enhance and strengthen an already great book.
Thanks Steve for being a catalyst for local church sports evangelism!
I have worked alongside Steve for many years including a wonderful couple of years on the CSRM staff. Steve and I are currently involved in a number of different ventures including our work with our ministries and our Universities. I also wrote a commendation for the book which appears on the back cover of the book.
Where to find the book - Visit smile.amazon.com.