SLM was founded in 1984 by Baptist Minister Dr Mark Tronson with a National Board of Denominational appointments - Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Catholic, Christian Revival Crusade, Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Salvation Army and the Uniting Church of Australia.
We aim to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with sports men and women and be an instrument in seeing them won for Christ. We aim to have these new Christians discipled to Christian maturity and worshipping in a local congregation (church).
SLM is a faith mission, with to date only one full time person ministering. The entire ministry is based on networking, both clergy and lay people. Churches allow their clergy a number of hours per week to minister with SLM, or lay people have it as their specific ministry.
SLM is compartmentalised into "Specialist or Generic Ministries" for effective ministry and administration. These specialist areas are as follows:
1. Chaplains to 140 Professional Sports - Sports and Leisure Ministry has each generic sport in a Specialist Ministry with their own National Co-ordinator. These include:
Motor Racing Ministries; Rugby League Ministry; Australian Football League (AFL) Ministry; National Baksetball League (NBL) Ministry; Tennis Ministry; Yachting Ministry; Ski Ministry; Cricket Ministry; PGA Ministry; Australian Baseball League (ABL) Ministry; Racing Ministry; Netball Ministry; Soccer Ministry; Rugby Ministry; Australian Institute of Sport Ministry.
2. Athletes For Christ - Australia, is an evangelism outreach ministry where Christian athletes speak at high schools, prisons, outreaches, universities, country town tours, dinners, breakfasts, and so on
3. Discipleship Ministry - disciplers who have 3-4 Christian athletes in their pastoral care
4. Sanctuary Lodge - a retreat centre on the New South Wales south coast in the town of Moruya for athletes and their families, specifically, those at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Athletes here receive a bible teaching as part of their visit.
5. Specialised Life-Orientated Ministries - other specialising areas are as follows:
Executive Ministries; Entertainment (Arts, Opera, Film, TV) Ministry; Tourism Ministry; SLM Promotions; School of Specialised Ministry with a correspondence bible school, post graduate studies, a summer sports ministry school; Fishing Ministries; Media Ministry
6. Australia's Bush Orchestra - a tourism ministry with a difference, a bush walk through the Australian bush with plaques and busts of 14 great spiritual leaders with a canopy of bellbirds and parrots singing.
7. A quarterly colour glossy magazine, "Australasia Sports Focus"
8. A monthly 6 page glossy two colour SLM Newsletter
9. An annual conference titled, SLM National Forum
10. SLM South Pacific Forum runs concurrently with the SLM National Forum each year - representatives from: Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kingdom of Tonga, Westerm Samao, New Zealand
11. 1996 SLM National Forum and SLM South Pacific Forum - September 2-4 in Poatina, (Launceston), TASMANIA.
12. SportsNet - linking local churches that have sports programs for the purposes of sharing resources and promoting effective evangelism.
13. Each of Australia's 7 States have their own SLM Co-ordinator
14. Under the State Co-ordinator fall those Specialist Ministries not involving sports chaplains.
Disciplers; Media Liaison (arranging athlete interviews on TV, radio and press, collating videos for distribution, specific ministry / generic sport outreach videos); fellowship co-ordinators; regional committees to advance SLM; sports evangelism; sports medicine; sports psychology; athlete ministries; chaplains' pastoral care; university ministries; parish sport ministries.
15. The National Board meets three times each year reviewing reports from each Ministry and State. The Board determines policy and direction.
16. Annual "Friend of SLM" award. This is an annual prestigeous award that goes to a professional sports coach or administrator who has assisted the chaplaincy program. This award was established in 1990. Winners have been:
1990 Dav Whatmore - Cricket; 1991 Max Garske - PGA; 1992 Jack Gibson - Rugby League; 1993 John Keefe - Motor Racing; 1994 - John Northey - AFL; 1995 Tom Wisman - NBL; 1996 - Deidre Anderson - A.I.S.
These awards are presented at the SLM National Forum Banquet. Deidre Anderson will receive her award in September.
17. Some States have their own Athletes Dinner award.
18. Specialist Sports Groups, such as "Christians in Rugby" who meet in Sydney monthly for a bible study. The Newcastle N.S.W. fellowship is another of these. The Brisbane Touch Football Outreach, Rugby League Christian Fellowship, is another. Special outreaches such as an AFL Finals dinner and similar major feature sports event dinners or breakfasts.
19. SLM is about "networking" and "lots of little things happening" - there are over 200 people directly involved in SLM across Australia with a host of others less directly involved.
20. SLM aims as stated above in the introduction is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with sports men and women and be an instrument in seeing them won for Christ. SLM aims to have these new Christians discipled to maturity, worshipping in a local congregation (church).
21. SLM networks with a host of other ministries throughout Australia in mutual trust and commitment. SLM finds it very difficult to support and engender good-will to any ministry which in effect is about adding scalps to their belt without the serious follow-up and discipleship program critical for Christian maturity and on-going Christian support within a local church.
22. We welcome all enquiries. Specific sport enquiries will be redirected to that specific "Generic Sport National Co-ordinator" so as to link in with that fellowship group.
1996 SLM National / International Ministry Events
Australian chaplains at the Atlanta Olympics, Rev Peter Nelson; Mrs Angela Harris
SLM National Forum, Poatina, Tasmania, September 2-4.
Opening of Australia's Bush Orchestra, October 20th 1996, Moruya, by Greg Chappell, former Australian Cricket Team captain.
Summer Sports Ministry School, Moruya N.S.W., 2nd week of January 1997
The monthly SLM Newsletter is an ideal way to find out more
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