Tag Archives: Life Lessons

If Jesus Coached Little League

Jesus and Little league

Let me begin this blog by saying I’m a musician, not an athlete; so my view of sports is from the sideline as an encourager. But that doesn’t prevent me from having an opinion on the matter and being that what I’m writing about isn’t really about sports at all, I do consider myself somewhat of an authority. Little league sports is a season of beginnings for both the little ones playing and their parents. It’s a whole new set of emotions for parents who are almost for certain their little Johnny or Jenny have the potential to be a national star. And that’s as it should be. Parents should instill in their children at the earliest of possible ages that they can do or be anything they want… provided God approves.  That’s the part most parents skip. And mainly because many little league activities are held on Wednesday evenings and now Sunday’s when kids should be in church, but that’s another blog.

If Jesus were a little league Coach, this is how I believe He’d go about it. The same manner for which He built the church.

He knew the game

Matthew 4:1-2

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Jesus was every bit God and every bit man. He experienced and faced temptation the same way we do and yet He overcame sin, so we are without excuse. If Jesus hadn’t experienced that for Himself we’d been given the opportunity to say, “But Lord, You don’t understand.” But He does. And for certain a Coach, even of little league, should have at some point experienced the game.

He knew He was dealing with Amateurs

Matthew 4:18-20

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

They weren’t preachers, they were fishermen, and Christ used that same analogy to convince them that they could play ball… or win souls as the case may be.

The one thing that most children love to do is play ball. Of any kind! And they’re pretty sure they’re the best at it, until somebody tells them they’re not. Now before any die hard athletes go on a rampage here, I understand the concept of winning and losing. You have to have both, not everyone can win every time. But winning and losing was not supposed to be the precept of little league ball. It was to train children to play.

Now let’s put that in a church perspective. I was blessed to begin my Christian walk in a church of really messed up people, (you know… sinners) with a leader who believed that we could be trained to be leaders. We weren’t expected to be perfect, but we were expected to try. When we broke the rules, we weren’t taken out of the game… we were brought to the sideline, instructed of righteousness and told to try again. That’s good teaching.

He knew they needed time

Most little league players don’t come out of the womb with a team jersey. There are the gifted, but most are just average kids, just like the church. A very small percentage of the church become paid servants, most of us are just average joes, or jills as the case may be; but you better believe there wouldn’t be a game if we didn’t show up.

Matthew 5:1-2

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Jesus taught not only the disciples but the multitude as well. Little league sports is a community event. It should be a time of learning and fun for everyone. It’s not the making of professionals, it’s the teaching of a team. Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that the game wasn’t about them, it was about those they served. And teaching kids to have a team spirit is the most valuable lesson you could teach as a coach. Because they’ll always be winners if they learn to treat one another with respect.

Teaching church members that lesson goes a long way too! The team’s attitude is usually a direct reflection of the coach. Bad or good the team is usually a mirror image. Jesus’ first lesson was an attitude check.

Matthew 5:3-9

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

He knew sometimes they’d lose

Matthew 5:10-11

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Jesus understood and taught how to take a loss. No matter what… treat people right.

Unraveled at the Feet of Jesus

Trying to find a biblical family in the scripture to model your family after is next to impossible. Dysfunction doesn’t even begin to describe it. From the beginning it was filled with disobedience, betrayal and murder. So it should not come as a surprise that our own families are so messed up today, and yet when it happens we’re shocked. And when you couple the fact that those stories of dysfunction were within God’s chosen leaders of the day, who weren’t perfect, but their relationship with the Lord was to be desired; what does that say about us? Few of us have a relationship with the Lord that’s as tightly knit. So we unravel… and our family isn’t what we envisioned, and neither are we.

I can write from the heart of dysfunction. If God were still adding text to the Bible (and He’s not by the way), but if He were, there could likely be the book of Shari. Perhaps many sermons would be preached from my text with a title like “The Diva of Dysfunction.” There likely would not be the intrigue as many books of the Bible entail, but there would be comedy and chaos, heartache and hindrances to the will of God, fractured moments and failed missions. Several trips to the wood shed for certain. But… in the midst of it all you’d find Mercy. And me at His feet… unraveled.

From Heaven I have a feeling my life looks like a tangled mess of God’s intentions. Maybe yours does too. We have to remember that regardless of what we do, God does see the other side.

  • Poor decisions can take us down a wrong path. And though the distance is rougher and longer, God can still bring us to His intended spot.
  • Broken relations were not His plan, but the healing that He provides can make you stronger and more appreciative of the unbroken.
  • Finances may not be your forte, (it’s not mine) but by giving back to Him what we were entrusted with, perhaps that seed will take root and grow in ways we can’t even imagine. Or He may just give us contentment… and that’s okay too.
  • Sometimes family is the tie that binds, and sometimes it’s the tie that gags, but it’s the foundation of the gospel. We are the family of God. And if He can put up with our shenanigans do we not owe our family the same. A man who sought God’s wisdom ask his counselor “When can I stop caring.” The counselor’s reply was “When God does.”

If I wrote an exhaustive list of dysfunctions you wouldn’t take the time to read my blog. So let’s put it like this. You fill in the blank. “Dear God, ________________ is unraveling in my life. And I need you to knit it back together.”

Scripture says in Colossians 2:2 ~ That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

We don’t know the end of our story. But we can be comforted in the knowledge that we are loved and that God’s plan is still on track. That tangled mess that we see, will one day be a viewed as a beautiful tapestry …or perhaps a cable knit sweater.

I hope today finds your life at peace, and wrapped up in the love of God

A Lesson in Leadership

2 Timothy 3:14

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

As the Pastor of our church gave his departing message yesterday morning my heart was divided. Although I was glad that the Lord was allowing him to move on to new and exciting places, he had played such a pivotal role in who I was as a Christian. In 1996 he pierced me with the words of Christ and I gave my heart to Jesus. He then didn’t just turn me loose to ride with the wind, he and many others discipled me into servitude so that I would become a leader in the ministry. Humbling…

As he spoke on 2 Timothy 3:14 I reminisced over the past 17 years of my life under his ministry and was grateful for the lessons I’d learned. I will continue on! I’ll lead as I’ve been lead…

Leaders are not Entertainers

Although I love to laugh and have a great time in the ministry if that laughter does not edify your soul I’m nothing more than an entertainer. I’ve witnessed dozens of speakers who I would love to orate as well as, but when they were finished orating I wasn’t moved with compassion or inspired to do great things for the Lord, I was entertained.

When Paul healed a man and the excited crowd wanted to do obeisance to him as if he was a man of great power, Paul quickly pointed them back in the right direction. Acts 14:15 – And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

When speaking or teaching before people everything we say and do should point back to Savior. It should never be about us, it should be about Him! Encourager… not entertainer.

Leaders lead through Experience

I was not born a leader. As a matter of fact I was born a stray-er. I was that one that the Shepherd had to seek after that strayed away from the flock. Likely lured off by something shiny! It was through experience, trial and error and sometimes trial and error again that I have managed to be recognized as a leader in the congregation of the Lord. And I don’t say that trivially. As a friend said to me recently, experience isn’t always the best teacher, it’s sometimes the only one we’ll listen too. Were it not for the grace of Almighty God, and His interventions to get me to this place, under the ministry of these people, I’d still be straying. But instead He has allowed me through the education of experience to be able to point people to Christ. Who would have ever thought that the “directionally challenged” me would be put in such a position? Only God can do that!

Leaders lend an Ear

Isaiah 49:1

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

From a small child I heard God calling my name, but unlike Isaiah I wasn’t in tune with the Holy Spirit enough to understand what God was doing in my life. It wasn’t until years and years later that I look back on those times and realize that God called me for such a time as this. I’m still learning to listen. Not only to God but to those that I lead. I have a tendency to run ahead and in so doing I sometimes miss what’s been said. I inadvertently offended a co-worker not too long ago by getting out of the car and walking ahead of them, rather than waiting until everyone walked in together. I live with the mission of Point “A” to point “B”. Let’s get where we’re going! I often lead that way too, wanting to get to where we’re going without slowing down along the way to listen to someone along the journey. I’m learning to slow down, it’s a hard lesson. But a worthy one.

I hope today finds you encouraged! God Bless You!