#31  
Old 04-13-2009, 05:41 PM
t i m t i m is offline
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I've can't count over the years how many times I've had serious conversations about life and faith with people I've met on the disc golf course. Disc golf is a great place to talk about life -- both the fun and the serious. It's relaxing, totally play-at-your-own pace (as long as you are courteous about letting people play through), and there is a lot of fun in just being out under the trees and watching plastic fly through the air.

My best friend and I started playing disc golf at the same time a little over 10 years ago, and we joked for a long time that we should start DGMI -- disc golf ministries international -- and hit up courses in every country that's got discers. I think a lot of that was because playing disc golf was the place we had the best real conversations -- away from people, cell phones turned off, and there is always the distraction of the game to focus on if you need to lessen the tension of a serious conversation.

I think there is a lot of merit in intentional ministry integrated into playing disc golf. But I think that only works if intentional ministry is integrated into all of a person's life. Any time you have a real conversation with someone for an hour or more -- the time a round of disc golf takes -- you will start to learn what they care about. For anyone, their beliefs will rise to the surface, and as you talk honestly about yourself and listen honestly to another person, you should be able to tell how to approach the conversation and how serious it should be.

And at the same time, disc golf should be enjoyed for the sake of disc golf -- its among my favorite ways to spend time. I personally think that course cleanups and that kind of thing could be good.

I think that leaving minis with church names on the course is pretty silly and is a kind of litter and will make the church look bad. Printing up minis or discs with a church name/logo/Website is a good idea -- but keep them in the bag or in the car and give them out to people that you have real conversations with. Don't just leave them lying around.

I think a disc golf ministry program has some merit, but it should be just like anything else -- ministry is about relationship and about living honestly. If I live part of my life and spend part of my time playing disc golf, then I should be willing to share honestly about my life while playing disc golf. I should pray for opportunities to meet people who need/want to talk. I should be open to hearing what others have to say and honestly listening -- not arguing.

No one has ever been won to faith in Jesus through a good argument. Christians are called to love their neighbors -- and if part of that is picking up cigarette butts, taco wrappers and broken bottles in a disc golf course, that's great. And if part of that is getting to play disc golf with strangers and listen to what's on their minds -- no matter what illegal activities and language they use -- that's great. But the moment Christian ideas become a battering ram or an argument or a excuse for self-righteousness, they loose all their meaning. It's a fine line to walk.

I think ministry is a great idea for disc golf, but ministry must exist in the context of honest desire for relationship/discipleship, honest love for our fellow man/neighbor and an honest joy of the game.
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  #32  
Old 04-13-2009, 05:52 PM
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NovaDiscHead NovaDiscHead is offline
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If you ever start up DMI...

Can I come work for you? That would be the coolest job ever!
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  #33  
Old 04-13-2009, 06:00 PM
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A.Mutt A.Mutt is offline
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I'm 100% cool with a Christian Disc Golf club, and even church owned course. But you'd cross the line with me if start asking me about my beliefs in an effort to convert me. I used to play weekly hockey in a church parking lot that had real goals (not pvc pipe homebrewed ones like ours) and everything since it was for their youth group. They were nice enough to let me and my 2 derelict friends play and we did every week for years. Not once did they ever question our beliefs. Only offered a seat in their prayer session afterwords, which we always politely declined and they never treated us differently. If that's the kind of scenario you're talking about then good deal. Just my opinion.
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  #34  
Old 04-13-2009, 06:15 PM
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A.Mutt A.Mutt is offline
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I feel should clarify a little bit. I'm always down for a good metaphysical discussion I'm just sincerely turned off from talking to someone if they come at me with "have you been saved?" But if you ask me "want to talk about god" I have and will mostly like say sure. If I feel like I'm fending off a conversion I'm not going to open up, but I love to discuss deep things with people who have different perspectives.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:41 PM
t i m t i m is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Mutt View Post
I feel should clarify a little bit. I'm always down for a good metaphysical discussion I'm just sincerely turned off from talking to someone if they come at me with "have you been saved?" But if you ask me "want to talk about god" I have and will mostly like say sure. If I feel like I'm fending off a conversion I'm not going to open up, but I love to discuss deep things with people who have different perspectives.
A.Mutt -- I think both your scenarios are examples of what I'm talking about. Christians are just people -- and have all the same hangups and faults and struggles. A Christian knows he/she is a mess, and that the only thing that separates them from anyone else is something they were given for free. When you're coming at life and an understanding of yourself from a position of humility and need, there is no right or reason to condemn and judge other people. There is a mandate to welcome and include other people, no matter who they are or what they believe. There's gray area open to debate (obviously), but that's the gist.

It sounds like the street hockey people were spot on -- welcome and appreciate you and your friends and what you brought to the game, invite you to be included, but not force or pressure or coerce or treat you any differently. My suggestion to you would be that if you're having fun and enjoy the company of those street hockey folks, it would be worth sticking around at least once to see/hear what they're saying -- especially since there is no pressure. Do it out of curiosity. I've attended a lot of various churches/mosques/temples/synagogues/celebrations/etc... out of honest curiosity and respect for friends who don't share the same underlying beliefs I do -- I'm consistently surprised by how welcoming people are across almost all ideological lines.

I always enjoy a real conversation about something more than just the weather -- on the disc golf course in particular. And as a Christian, the charge is to love God, by loving people. And part of that is sharing truth as I understand it. But sharing truths (sharing ideas about the nature of the universe and of God) and loving other people is all a Christian is called to do. A Christian is NEVER called to "convert" people. A change of heart is between God and an individual person.

If someone ever comes up to you with the idea that they are going to "convert you and change your life," then that is probably either their pride, their ego or their ignorance talking... coercing someone to faith or tricking them into faith is never going to work. Sharing is part of an honest discussion -- an honest talk -- where both people share their thoughts and try not to respond out of anger and judgment...

I guess it boils down that I, too, share a lot of your opinions and feel the same way. Especially your statement: "If I feel like I'm fending off a conversion I'm not going to open up, but I love to discuss deep things with people who have different perspectives." -- if you're ever out in the D.C. area, drop a line. I'll look forward to a great round of disc golf and lively discussion.
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  #36  
Old 04-13-2009, 06:52 PM
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My wife has family in the area so next time we go out there I'll definitely take you up on that.

I shouldn't have said always. I did actually stick around once, I have no idea if my friends did as we sometimes left seperately. But it wasn't until I took some philosophy classes a few years later that I began to enjoy trying to understand other perspectives. So I guess I chalk it up to being young and apathetic.
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  #37  
Old 04-13-2009, 07:07 PM
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REDARMY REDARMY is offline
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for what it's worth, i'd ignore anything of the sort.

between ads on tv and jehovas at the door, i've already had my fill of preachy...stuff

however, if you'd trade some DX plastic for attendance at a service or two, i'd bet that'd bring in a few.
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  #38  
Old 04-13-2009, 07:21 PM
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NovaDiscHead NovaDiscHead is offline
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Tim,

Your attitude is exactly what I want to impart on the pastor. Lon is a pretty liberal guy, and the church has groups for bikers, owners of sports cars and other things. I'm begining to think that a motivated group, with their money and political/social clout could do some real good in the District. if you're not already familiar, they have a couple of very good ministries in the worst parts of the city, The House in SE and Daybreak in Lincoln Heights. I'm thinking it could be a nice project to build a course in DC for use, with money and manpower donated through some churches, like MBC and yours.

Drop me an Email, maybe we can hit the chains at Giles and talk about it this week.
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  #39  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:09 AM
Omega SuperSloth Omega SuperSloth is offline
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when i go out to the dg course im only there to do one thing thats play dg, if you want to shoot the breeze about dg related stuff and ask me questions along that line thats cool but anything other than that(kids,marital stautus,religion,political affiliation,where you work,etc)is getting to personal. Its not that im against christians asking me questions im against anybody i dont know or someone i only play dg with asking sh** that has nothing to do with dg. Now if you want to ask me a non dg question, like if i wanna toke that be alright :]<ZZZZZZZZZZZ>
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  #40  
Old 04-14-2009, 04:02 AM
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ShaZaun ShaZaun is offline
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one of the greatest things about this sight is to get to see many differnt people's opinion that share a common interest.....I can see both sides of the coin..... I think one of the main problems with any type of ministry is approaching people without making them feel confronted.... people who don't believe figures if they ever wanted to start believing they could go find a church and start from there.... people who truly believe feel that is part of their christian duty to go and spread the word of god especialy to non believers which makes them feel confronted....viciouse circle kinda thing....
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