GOLF AS MINISTRY - A PROGRESSIONRead Now
Imagine, if you will, a process by which we are able to use the game of golf for evangelism & discipleship for Jesus Christ from the moment a child becomes interested in the game until the moment that the golf club is laid down whether it's due to age or disinterest or …..
Do we believe that this is the Lord's will?
Yes. We see it very clearly in Matthew 28, 19 through 20 that the Lord calls for us to be Disciples of Jesus Christ and as we are going about our business, our lives, to make disciples. This applies, of course, to our golf lives. We are to make disciples of other golfers. We are to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ … “as we go”... and in every way within which we have the opportunity to fellowship. Even further, the word of God says (John 4:35) that the fields are ripe for the Harvest. This applies, I believe, to all fields, not just the fields where we’re working the harvest. In fact, it may be even more of a metaphor relative to what we’re addressing today for the golf courses or the driving ranges or the practice areas to be the fields “ripe for the Harvest”.
We have individuals who are drawn to the game of golf, in fact, we have referenced in the past, Psalm 139, where the Psalmist says that from the very beginning, when we were, even, within our mother's womb, or even before that, the Lord placed his purposes in our hearts.
Can this apply to the game of golf?
Of course it can!
So, we will expose a process by which the call for the Great Commission may be applied and processed and fulfilled in order to perform the Lord's work as he has called us to go and make disciples….
… in the golf “people group".
So, how can we make this happen?
Various golf-oriented Ministries have already been established in order to facilitate this vision. Look at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Golf, www.fcagolf.org or College Golf Fellowship, www.cgf.org & Links Players International, www.linksplayers.org for golf-oriented “people groups” using the game of golf to build community & disciples.
What are some of the results? Look on the Korn Ferry Tour, the PGA Tour & Champions Tour, the LPGA & Symetra Tours for examples of professional golfers who have been positively influenced, partly, due to the aforementioned ministries.
Can we organize & institutionalize this influence?
Well, possibly, institutionalize, (as we further develop this concept), but, certainly, influence aspiring golfers from the moment they are introduced to this great game of a lifetime.
How & by whom?
Join Us at www.golffromtheheart.golf
Take what Wally Armstrong has done with the tool, “Go -Start - Golf” (GSG) and, formerly, “Starting New at Golf” (SNAG). These are inventions by a man who has been called and guided by God for over 50 years as his passion and his vision have been to make the game accessible to youngsters in order for them to have tools and instructional packages as well as inspiration and guidance to become introduced to the game of golf as well as grow in the game for enjoyment and competition.
So, Wally, guided by God, has been in the business of inventing and developing tools for youngsters to be drawn into the game of golf. The GSG kit is a simple, easy and enjoyable way to introduce a youngster as well as adults to the game of golf with comfortable golf clubs, tennis balls and fun targets and games. Again, the idea is to make the game interesting and enjoyable, but the main purpose behind engaging with youngsters and their families is to draw them into the game that imitates life, with the specific focus of trying to draw them into a fellowship where they are also introduced to the Creator of all Creation, Jesus Christ.
So Go - Start - Golf is the entry level tool that Wally has recently developed in order for this to take place.
How do we Implement that?
Wally is quite clear that this game is simple enough for even those who have never seen nor handled a golf club. The student is able to take the club and naturally swing them, hit the balls and have targets in front of them. Then, for them to play games in order to keep score and compete against each other and, in general, to just have fun. This tool is being introduced throughout the country yet the main focus for us (Golf From the Heart: Bill’s ministry) is an outreach to the churches. The implementation of the Go - Start - Golf kit with its various games is a tool for the churches to introduce the youth to the game, encourage inviting others & building relationships. This can be accomplished within the various youth groups, out in the local parks as well as recreation areas and, even, inside the church with a room large enough to set up the kit. We are implementing a curriculum in which kids and their friends and their adult family members are able to learn the game and, gain a further interest in the game of golf.
This tool can also be used at camps that are drawing kids from outside of the church so that they would build relationships with the other kids. Through these new relationships, they might attend the youth group and, possibly, draw their parents in. There is a statement that is made among our circles which states; “If you get the kids, then you may get the dad. If you get the dad, then the whole family may end up in the church.” This has proven to be true, and Go - Start - Golf is a way to draw the kids & the family in. There are many other ways to do this, even, by just conducting a regular outside program or some sort of a competition that is established between individuals and groups and churches. Again, this is a way to draw new kids and families into this game and this interaction with others so that they may be candidates for presentation of the Gospel.
What's next? Stay with us.....
In Him2, Thanks
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text me @ 774-212-2265
Oh, my , Father, what am I to be and do?
Who am I?
I am a 69 year old man who became a follower of Jesus Christ in early 1981 as a strapping (alright, not so strapping) 29 year old Captain in the US Army Corps of Engineers and Aviation Officer.
Prior to that time I was a typical Boston-area, selfish, worldly, regular guy "who's, (as we said back then, sh-- didn't stink". Far from it!!
I was led to read the Bible on my own at that time and decided to believe the writings of the Apostles and that Jesus was the Savior of mankind. I was (and still am) married to Anne with two young children at the time. (Now we have 5 adult kids & 11, yup, 11 grandkids). I was very consistent in reading the Bible over many years; in fact, the Bible is the life’s-blood of my steadfastness in faith.
My sanctification or Christian maturity and growth have not been without trials, tribulations, failures and successes. I grew in faith while staying in the military and serving ‘stateside’, in Korea, Greece, Germany and, even California, lol. My final assignment was at Fort Dix, NJ as the Provisional Battalion Commander of Fort Dix. This crowning achievement was more about the challenges of a Christian man working as the leader of some 1,200 men and women, but, the most memorable recollections of the time involved the building of relationships with subordinates and challenging soldiers to do their best as they prepared themselves for future battles and civilian careers.
In the latter part of my Army career, I earnestly sought out how to merge my love for Christ with my passion for the game of golf for a career after the Army. In 1989, during a prayer session regarding the next phase of my career in golf/ministry, I heard the Lord tell him something similar to; “You are going to be an agent for Christian golfers.” At the time, I thought this was ‘ridiculous’, so I pursued other plans that came to me and ended up establishing a golf tournament fundraising business.
I initiated a golf consultation company called Kingdom Corporate Golf (KCG) just 18 months or so before I retired from the Army in 1994. My goal became to consult with corporations in the conduct of their golf appreciation events, but, to enlist Christian PGA Tour Players to fill the celebrity role at the events. The Christian professional would conduct a golf clinic as well as conduct an inspirational speech or testimony of their Christian faith during the corporation’s celebration dinner. Additionally, KCG would organize a parallel event that would include local Fellowship of Christian Athlete huddles, church youth groups or, just, interested youngsters and have them attend a testimonial outreach by the professional golfer as well.
In the search for relationships with professional golfers who were followers of Jesus Christ, I was blessed to meet Bobby Clampett at a www.linksplayers.com outing in Myrtle Beach in 1993. Bobby and I, miraculously, played in the same group together. During the round Bobby & I hit it off pretty well after sharing our stories of coming to faith as well as our vision for the future. After the round, Bobby approached me and asked if I would become the ‘agent for his Christian golf ministry’ (ah, fulfillment of the Lord’s inspiration in 1993).
Bobby and I joined together to establish The Players’ Outreach Ministry (TPOM) which was an outgrowth of the PGA Tour Bible Study. TPOM became an organization that conducted outreach breakfast gatherings at Tour stops during 1994-1998. During this time I built relationships with several PGA Tour players like; Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Bobby of course, Gary Hallberg, Scott Simpson and a few others, but, mainly, I helped develop the TPOM ministry, coordinate events at the Masters, the US Open, Muirfield, the PGA, and many other Tour locations. The objectives were; to introduce attendees to Jesus Christ, solicit individual commitments from attendees to a belief in Jesus Christ and coordinate contacts within the community to help these attendees in their walk with Christ.
One of the greatest experiences during that time was when I had to work with a PGA Tour Player on fulfilling his commitment to the Memorial event when he was unsure of his ability to share his Christian story in public. It was difficult, but I was able to help the Player understand how important it was to fulfill his responsibility and, from what I understood, the Player was blessed by fulfilling his commitment to that event.
Another wonderful experience occurred with PGA Tour Player Tom Lehman during the Masters tournament in 1998. Tom had conducted the testimonial the year before and Bernhard Langer was giving his testimony at the breakfast event that year. We had added an evening devotional and concert to the activities with John McArthur and Steve Camp participating. We were hoping to have a PGA Pro introduce the concert and when I saw Tom earlier in the week I asked him if he would conduct the introductions at the Wednesday night concert. Tom apologized and said he hoped he might do it, but he was under alot of pressure from his sponsors to participate in a few other events that evening. He said he would let us know.
We were in the prayer room at Warren Baptist Church just before the event that evening and a knock came on the door. It was Tom, apologizing again for his inability to conduct the introduction, due to earlier commitments, but he wanted to visit in person to apologize. What a wonderful and conscientious person!! That was a great experience!
For various reasons ill share later, TPOM dwindled in application due to non supported by the existing ministerial presence on the PGA Tour and after much soul searching and prayer, the Lord convinced me to hand the ministry over to another ministry conducting regular ministry to the PGA Tour.
My miracle from God seemed to come to an end.
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.