Beyond the Gold is primarily an incentive to consider the area of sport in particular and leisure in general as a contemporary gospel opportunity.
Secondly, it provides help with resources, contacts, organisations and ideas, so that the challenge of the book is matched by the wealth of the resources. Using sporting phrases as chapter headings it sets out the historic and current opportunity for sports outreach, a biblical case for such a ministry in the local church, developing this ministry in its various stages, and finishing by providing helpful resources.
What I found most compelling was the passion of the author for this type of outreach at which he has become an active model in both the local church in the UK and USA as well as para-church sports ministry organisations. As a committed Christian sportsman, the book is a fantastic reference for forming and developing a sports outreach at local church level and is most relevant. The vast majority of society, no matter what gender, age or stage of life, spends many hours a week in a leisure or sport environment. The challenge of the book is ‘why don’t we make more of this opportunity’? There is a particular thrust for developing a sports ministry to reach men and young people, but its gospel heart is underlined by preaching Christ at the centre of this outreach. The only jarring note, if you are anything like me, is the occasional contextual reference to the USA and large churches, but there is so much which we should prayerfully consider in the smaller UK situation.
On a lighter note, it has even given me a personal exercise programme in my increasing years!
an elder at Hayes Lane Baptist Church, Bromley