Friday, September 12, 2014

Be Response-Able

My TIE Value: Trust in the Lord and Do Good (Psalm 37:3)

 My Son's enjoyment for playing baseball prompted me to be involved with various baseball associations.

Like all youth sports associations, I have learned that successful baseball associations depend on the grassroots volunteers of its board members, coaches, and most of all parent involvement.  Without these three key groups of people there is no association, league or team.  Without all the adult volunteers youth baseball would disappear even if there was a massive interest to play baseball.

I was satisfied to be the #1 parent volunteer for our team each and every year.This is why I was always first in line to prepare the field for game day by squeegeeing the water off the field and filling in holes around the infield. I made time to run skill stations at practice so that all the players got their reps up in baseball basics. As an assistant coach in 2013, I was responsible for that our 5 team members (12-13 year old) who were new to the game. 4 out of these 5 players returned to play baseball in 2014. 

I was thrilled to be a small part in the bigger picture of grassroots baseball where first time players were excited to play and wanted to play again the following year. Then our director put me on the spot for 2014 season. He volunteered me to be a head coach for my son’s 14-15 year old team. I tried for months to get out of it. But his reply to me was, “You have dodged the real responsibility of having a team by not coaching.” He was right.

As I accepted this appointment with much inward trepidation, it was helpful for me to recall that I had all the experiences needed to have a successful baseball season as I prepared to be a head coach. 
  •          I copied the practice plan of coaches I volunteered under who knew how to grow players by increasing everyone’s repetitions of baseball’s basic skills.
  •         I went to the training sessions at the association where I was reacquainted with the basics of coaching and playing baseball.
  •          I had the support of my family and church to be involved with the baseball community.

As I went through my first year as a head coach, I realized that I already possessed the basic knowledge and experiences to grow all the skill levels of my players. I came to realize by the end of the season that I did not fully understand grassroots sports until I was obligated to head coach a team.

MY Take It Easy Thoughts:

In our churches, we often misplace the true value of being involved in church ministry. While people in the church will serve on all the rotations, participate in the Bible studies, and plan for ministry related activities; they will often decline being the point person responsible for the ministry.

Like my avoidance of  head coaching responsibilities in baseball, the members in our churches feel they are too busy to be responsible for the ministry. Even if time was not the issue, they often see themselves as inadequately trained or lack of abilities compared to others to really be a good choice.  After all they do not want to “mess things up” and / or “receive complaints” from their fellow church goers.  Unfortunately, these are legitimate concerns.  

Even more unfortunate, these people become satisfied in being the #1 volunteer who is more concerned about running a safe program where someone else takes the heat or they can hide behind the anonymity of a committee.  No wonder we have little or no trust in the size of vision God as for each of our churches!

Growing into God’s greater vision requires us to step out of our lives and into His Calling. Being a called people is at the most basic element of not only serving God in the church which I see as a practice for serving his purposes everywhere (Matt. 4: 18-22; 8:18-22; 28:19-20).  In order to live as a called person we need to trust the resources that God has already given us.

#1: His Living Gospel

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both wise and foolish. That is why I am eager to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome. I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes… - Romans 1:14-16a (NIV)

#2: His Living Word
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

#3: His Living Body, the Church
It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. – Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)

#4:  His Living Presence through the Holy Spirit
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. – John 14:26 (NIV)

Is there any reason why we can’t grow our “Response – Ability” to God’s daily calling?

Over the next few weeks I will write about elements that help us grow our grassroots in Christ found in Colossians 3:15-17. It is my hope to challenge each of us to respond to God so that we all CAN serve Him everywhere.

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