I don't know if you read my husband's blog or not, but if you don't, you need to. Well, one post in particular. :)
Good Things at the Baseball Game
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
My son has been involved in baseball now for 3 years. This year, all four of us jumped into the fray that is Little League -- the son and daughter are playing, I'm coaching, and Bernard is serving on the local board. I'm not sure if it is because of our hyper-involvement, or what it may be, but I have had the opportunity to see many different people react in many different ways -- some positive, and some, well, frankly, no so positive.
It has caused me to think quite a bit about how we as Christians are perceived by the "world" and how we perceive the "world."
Our Christianity should not end at the church door when we leave. There are very few that will argue that point. VERY few.
Our Christianity should go with us into every daily activity, no matter how exciting or how mundane. Again, I seriously doubt I would get many arguments for that.
If a man (or woman, depending on denomination) has been called to a visible church role, s/he should be prepared to be especially sensitive to those around them. They are put on a pedestal (whether wrongly or rightly is irrelevant at this junction). If that person is involved in youth sports of any kind, that mantle MUST go with them. It simply cannot be left in the car with yesterday's Gatorade.
(I'm going to pause here and simply say that if anyone has watched me for any length of time, you know very well I have a hard time practicing what I am "preaching" here. I cannot count the times I have had to apologize for my words or actions, and to ask forgiveness for those involved.)
In one instance, a church leader was more than willing to "raise a stink" about another coach (incidentally, another Christian), one (or more) of the board members and one of the policies of our local organization. Despite efforts to bridge the gap of misunderstanding in this instance, the church leader became stand-offish and condescending to those involved. No humility AT ALL was ever exhibited in the situation. To quote one parent, "And he is a church [leader]. I wouldn't want to go to his church." All in an effort to make sure that an opposing coach didn't gain a minuscule advantage.
In another incident, a church leader absolutely refuses to speak to one of his fellow coaches. Now, whatever the background is for the "feud", frankly, is of no concern of mine. Nor is "who is right and who is wrong." When a witness is being self-sabotaged, the reasons "why" do not matter.
As Christians, we are called to represent Jesus Christ. Love, humility, GRACE, forgiveness. . .the list goes on. At any point if you can't carry those minimal traits to the ball field, get OFF! The damage you do to the church of Christ (not the denomination, btw, the body as a whole) may be irreparable. Ultimately, you will answer for it, but it is heartbreaking to watch.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get people into "church." As a result, the "church" needs to be ready to go out and reach the people. At the ballfield, especially, a little grace and humility goes a LONG way.