Could the attributes of the Christ-follower be infused into a program similar to The First Tee?
The answer is, “Yes”. Through Wally Armstrong and myself as well as a few others we have developed a similar program in order to bring kids into the game at the next level where they are introduced to real golf clubs and real golf balls as well as practicing and playing on real golf courses. Christian attributes such as “Creation, “the Fall”, “Redemption”, and “Consummation”. are introduced as curriculum learning tools similar to what The First Tee does. We are calling this program; “Growing Your Golfer Into Greatness” (GYGIG).
“The initial start of the program or curriculum for this 6 hole GYGIG will be the “Story of Glory”....
From the book, “Does God Care Who Wins?” Bob Schindler writes;
"and in bringing this up, we want us to recognize the struggle. we want to see how this “Glory” struggle is at the core of the question, at the core of all sports, really, at the core of all life. We also want us to understand this Glory struggle, because that understanding is critical to the right answer to our question of whether God cares who wins and resolving the tension.
Initially, we want to affirm that, while the struggle between the pursuit of our glory and God's glory has been there for a long time, it hasn't always been that way. To get some perspective, let me ask you, how do you view Christ followers? If you were to outline the message of Christ following, what would you say? Do you see it as a set of propositional truths as like; God loves people, or Jesus died for Sinners? Maybe a list of do's and don'ts? If that is how you view Christ Followers, we are seriously limiting the good news of the Gospel message of those who follow Christ. According to Frederick Buechner, there is no less danger and darkness in the Gospel than there is in The Brothers Grimm, but beyond and above all, there is the joy of it, this tale of a light breaking into the world that not even the darkness can overcome. That is the Gospel? This meeting of Darkness and Light in the final victory of Light. That is the fairytale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is True, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
How one views this story impacts our ability to answer the question; “Does God Care Who Wins?”. When we limit the Good News, the Gospel of Christ-following, to a set of do's and don'ts, we also limit our ability to effectively answer our question. We end up with simplistic answers that don't satisfy our souls or glorify God. However, when we see the Gospel as The Story of All Stories, as the story from which all stories gain their source, we gain important keys to resolving our question in a soul satisfying and God glorifying way.
The Gospel, this story, has been referred to in different ways. Pastor Randy Pope refers to the story as the story of Glory. Others have referred to the Gospel as a story of redemption with four chapters and this is what we will focus upon; the four chapters of the story of Glory; Creation, the Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.
To gain those important Keys, let's briefly review this story.
Number One, Creation
In the beginning, in the chapter titled Creation, God made all there is from nothing. He didn't need to create because he was alone. He made all of creation out of his self giving nature. Creation was a way for God to spend himself.
All that he made was good. His authority and care spread over all of his good creation. It flourished as it was designed to flourish.
In his creating, God made people, a man and a woman. He gave them a unique role in the flourishing design for creation. God declares this role prior to his creation of them. Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. So God made man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God intended them for Glory a greatness, a magnificent, as His Image bearers, unique among all of his creation. When he then makes them in His image, he endows them with his glory, or as the scripture States He crown him with glory and honor. At this point in the story, there is no glory Struggle. No pension. God gives glory to the people and the people go to give glory to God as they live and live out this design. Since God and thousand with his glory as His Image bearers question the people are confident and what they have been given. From this confidence, their focus is on others, not on themselves. They move toward each other to express, not establish, their Glory, this greatness God has given them, and to benefit the other and bring honor to The God Who endowed them their glory. In doing so, they flourish as image bearers for God, with all of creation responding in honor of that greatness.
Second - The Fall.
Here, the story radically changes and not for the better. In creation, God gave the man and the woman great freedom to express His Image over Creation with one exception. With only one restriction, amazingly and foolishly, they doubt his goodness and rebelled. They think it would be better to have all the glory of being his image bearers without God is there a thority, their Source, their guide. In doing so, they move away from God as they disobey the good God who had given them so much.
Great was the impact of this move. All creation was corrupted. I struggle even to put into words the greatness of that impact in a way that doesn't diminish the reality. We see this contamination all around us and within us. We live with the breadth and depth of the defilement everyday. No one escapes the desecration now resident around and within us.
Nothing was left unharmed including all people, every person. We have all been marred, defiled, broadly and deeply. One aspect of that corruption is our loss of Glory, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God “
In our rebellion and talk corruption, we are now separated from God, without the relationship we once had with him. With no source of confidence in what we have been given, we feel inadequate and wonder if we have what it takes, in Woodley knowing the truth And fearing exposure. Having left the source we need to guide our expression, we feel lost, disconnected, unaccepted, and alone. We try and fail and feel the shame of failure over and over. This move from God has cost us much, including our Glory. Because of that reality, while we may not acknowledge it, even to ourselves, we know something is not right.
From this place, we are on a search for Glory, a Relentless search to establish the glory which we were endowed with by God. Image bearers we stayed, but the image is now flawed, Mard. Our focus is turned inward toward ourselves, rather than outward toward others, as it was in the first chapter when the relationship of God gave him confidence in their Glory.
Here the struggle of Glory is now fully in place. We foolishly think to glorify God will cost us glory. We still doubt his goodness and move to make ourselves great. There is probably not a realm in life with the establishment of this loss blurry is well clearly seen then in sports. All the levels, all the awards, all the Championships are, at the core, and attempt to regain our lost Glory, To prove to ourselves and to others something about this lost greatness and honor that was ours in the first chapter.
There is a problem with these efforts, however. We long for the glory, the greatness in honor, that we were given by God in creation. This is the most “creaturely of pleasures -- nay, the specific pleasure of the inferior the pleasure of a beast before men, a child before its father, a pupil before his parent come a creature before its creator.” As CS Lewis reminds us. However, the Earthly Glory we move to establish, no matter how great, can never fill the longing for the Heavenly glory in our hearts.
We have already mentioned Tom Brady's admission of this reality. (Pg 33, “In 2005 Tom Brady said why do I have 3 Superbowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, hey man, this is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream, my life. I think, “God it's got to be more than this.””.) For this Glory that we so passionately pursuing Sports is transitory in nature. It cannot satisfy Rd prolonging. The line is long of those who are honest and acknowledge the lack of satisfaction in this Earthly Glory.
God said it would be this way when he spoke to the man and the woman after their Rebellion. He said life without him would be a life of pain, with failure and futility as significant Parks. Life without him cannot by Design ever satisfied. God made us invented us as a band invention engine a car made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our Spirits were designed to burn, or the food our Spirits with designed to feed on. There is no other God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because cuz it is not there.
The story at this point is a tragic one. Without God, the happiness, peace, and joy of living out our Glory as image bearers is now gone. We are left searching for, longing for something we cannot find here. We would be left in the struggle of establishing our Glory our Glory versus God's glory unsatisfied in our Pursuit, without hope of ever finding resolution
God has every right to let it end this way tragically.
Again, from the book, “Does God Care Who Wins?” by Bob Schindler.
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.