Pastor’s ponderings

This past Sunday afternoon I participated in my first ever pickleball tournament.  It was a blessed time of fun and fellowship with nearly two dozen other people from town.  Typically on Sunday afternoons, I am quite tired, having expended a lot of energy in our morning worship times together, and this Sunday was no exception.  However, I found myself with a renewed boost of energy due to the energy found in the people on the courts that day.  All were abuzz with excitement with what was to take place.  Not only were we going to get to play pickleball, but we were also having a cookout and celebrating two people’s birthdays!  How much more excitement could you have in one place at one time!

            With the excitement abounding, as the scheduled start time drew near, there was still one big question on everyone’s minds – how exactly was this going to work anyway?  There were players of varying skill levels, so who was going to play who?  Surely we couldn’t put the best players against those who had just begun this summer and were still learning, could we?  It was then the event coordinator revealed the big plan.  First, the group would be split into two, a varsity squad and the JV team.  Ok, easy enough, but now what?  Well, now everyone had to be seeded.  We played a series of seven games to determine the rankings of players on the JV and varsity sides.  Once this was complete, the real genius of the tournament plan was revealed.

            You see, in our club, we almost always play as teams of two people, doubles as you might hear it called in tennis or some other sport, and the coordinator had devised a quick, impartial way to create these pairings.  Utilizing the seedings determined from the previous matches, the teams were created thus: the #1 seed was paired with the #8, #2 with #7, #3 with #6, and #4 with #5, all in a way to create four balanced teams for both varsity and JV.

            Now, I tell you all this, because as I sat back and thought about it over the past 24 hours, I discerned how effective this could be in our churches.  You see, it seems that, for most churches across this land, we are really good at pairing ourselves up with those like us, those who are on the same level as us, have been at church for as long as we have, who know as much as we do.  Yet, how often do we spend time in “player development?”  How often does a “veteran” team up with a “rookie” to help teach them the skills needed to participate in the game, work with them, use their strengths to help offset where the other is weak?  From what I saw this past Sunday, teams such as these can accomplish more than you might ever imagine.  How about today we all ponder on how you might help someone in their Christian journey.

                                                            Blessings to all,                                                             Pastor Steve

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