This series of blogs describes and explains the “5-B’s” of Evangelism of The Sports Outreach Movement. This blogs continues the discussion with an explanation of the fourth “B” -
The fourth step in the “5-B’s Rubric” is: behaving. Behaving indicates radical life change from a secular, self-centered individual to a Christo-centric member of The Church. It assumes a person who has come to faith in Christ, has been baptized, and has embarked on a life-long journey of becoming a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ.
Like the first “B” – belonging - this may seem counter-intuitive and/or out of order for many church communities which prefer to see “regenerate behavior” before they administer the sacrament of baptism or present a person for church membership. However, the traditional “Celtic” view of evangelism believes that we cannot expect “regenerate behavior” from “unregenerate” people (for a deeper understanding of this “Celtic” view, see other chapters in the book from which this excerpt is taken). So, upon further reflection, the progression of the 5-B Rubric makes obvious sense. Behaving like Christ, can only come about, and be sustained by, people who have been empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Behaving as a Christian requires and is built upon three complementary areas: a) the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit; b) the humble submitting of the new disciple’s will to Jesus Christ; c) an intentional discipling program or process administrated through a local assembly of The Church.
Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
The role of the Holy Spirit and all surrounding Theologies of the Holy Spirit are also greatly debated and controversial topics within The Church, and are also, not the focus of this blog. This blog will however, focus on what is agreed upon by all, which is all disciples of Jesus Christ are indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Such empowerment is necessary for new disciples to not only think and act in Christ-like ways but also to want to do so. Holy Spirit empowerment works to inform the intellect, inspire the heart, empower the will, and enable the body. No new Christ-like and biblically-based behaviors will occur without the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Submission of the Will
The indwelling Holy Spirit certainly empowers new disciples, but He does so in a way to enable new disciples to work cooperatively in the process of submitting their hearts, minds and wills. No new behaviors will take place without a true submission of the heart, mind and will of all disciples.
The Holy Spirit is also vital in directing and empowering local congregations to envision, implement and maintain systematic and purposeful discipling disciplines. This would include beginning core contents of discipleship areas such as, information about and the practice of daily prayer, bible study, personal devotions and obedience to the will of God. It would also include how to witness to others about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. These introductory stages of discipleship eventually enable the next level of discipleship which entails teachings on what living a Christ-like life is like including significant insights into Christian ethics for family life, vocation and interacting with pagan societal mores. Eventually discipleship moves from knowing we should pray, to becoming a prayer warrior; Eventually, casual reading of the bible develops into engaging in, in-depth bible study and from being theologically ignorant to comprehending the great theological depths of Christianity. Other spiritual growth is observed including moving from talking about faith in Christ with others, to living in such powerful ways, that non-Christians are winsomely attracted to consider becoming a disciple of Jesus.
Suffice it to say, no new behaviors will occur without a local church actively implementing a discipleship program for new Christians and the collective, collaborative efforts of the Holy Spirit, new disciple and a local congregation result in the disciple becoming a life-long, dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ.
It is imperative for local church Sports Outreach Ministries to move new believers into disciplemaking activities within the broader church.
The next blog will discuss the fifth “B” – Becoming.
You can get a copy of Sports Outreach Fundamentals in the bookstore: https://csrm.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/csrm/product.jsp?product=10&