ministry in the late innings

ministry, like life, is full of seasons...
today the thought occurred to me that there are a couple of parallels between a baseball game and they are (if you've never been to a baseball game, college or pro, feel free to invite me, i love a good game):

  • at the beginning of the game and into the first few (2 or 3) innings there's a celebratory, party atmosphere. the game is new, the guys are rested and both teams are optimistic about their future as far as the next couple of hours go - that is unless there's a blow out in the first few innings. regardless, even if there's a blow out, the game started amid a festive atmosphere - the ceremonial first pitch, the guest singers singing the national anthem, the routine 'donation' to a local charity or organization - all of these things create hope, anticipation and a forward-looking outlook for the immediate future.
  • ministry parallels this...when we first start in ministry or start in a new ministry role (whether paid or volunteer), we tend to have that same anticipation, that same hope and that same forward-looking outlook for the immediate future. that is until...
  • late innings arrive - suddenly the ball game is on the line, the coach begins to make substitutions to maximize every opportunity, every pitch counts, every signal counts, every decision counts, every reaction counts - get this, there's nothing that doesn't 'count' - suddenly the sole focus is on one thing...the reason for the game, the reason for the practice - it suddenly become all about winning with every decision it is in ministry
  • in ministry, there's always a 'honeymoon' period (early innings), then things become focused...when we realize its all about the 'one thing' then we begin to make decisions that revolve around our purpose - whether you're a ministry leader with a distinct 'mission statement' or 'visions statement' or if you're a volunteer who makes it happen week in and week out, i challenge you to focus on the 'one thing' - yes, it's the great commission, yes it's the great commandment, but it's also more than's the purpose you're doing what you're's the reason you practice, the reason you show up, the reason every decision 'counts'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well that was an awesome analogy, you have raised the bar on sports analogy blogs, I am truly inspired, with all seriousness that was a great post!!!