Friday, July 11, 2008

Church softball and Christian community

I don’t know how many small groups we have at St. John but they are the key to our mission. I want to tell you about two of them. We have two softball teams that do more than just play softball. The Thursday night team on which I play is a wonderful example of how we are building spiritual community on the softball field.

First of all we really enjoy being together. Good natured teasing is a big part of the fun. Secondly, leadership makes a difference. Our coach, Nick Brawner, gets it. It’s not just about softball. It’s about building Christian community. Nick not only performs the administrative duties well but he keeps us connected with each other’s concerns and joys. And it’s not like he does it all. We share leadership. After each game we gather for a wrap up and to share joys and concerns. One of our member’s father passed away recently. Another shared a concern about a friend with cancer. And then right there with all kinds of people around we hold hands and pray. Brent Goodrum has been a leader in this regard.

I don’t know if any of this has much to do with the fact that we are undefeated this season. But I feel compelled to risk sinful pride to tell you that we nearly lost our first game last night. With a tie game we went to extra innings. It was the bottom of the inning. Sarah was on second. Jeremy on first. Oh no! Two of our best hitters got out. The next batter stepped up to the plate. Will he be the goat or the hero? Strike one. Ball one. He knew exactly where he wanted to hit. A swing and a drive to right center field. Sarah speeds to the plate and St. John wins!

Your pastor and humble hero.