When he began playing tee-ball, the coaches stood on the field with the players, helping them learn the game. Now that he is eight, his coaches are required to stay off of the field during play. The closest the coaches can get to the action is standing in the coach’s boxes on the first base and third base lines.
Earlier this season, Bryce learned a valuable lesson when he was tagged out at second due to not watching his first-base coach. As he trotted back to the dugout, Bryce’s coach pulled him aside and shared a teaching moment.
As I watched the coach teach and encourage Bryce, I recalled how the coach had been a great high-school baseball player. Surely it would have been easier for he and the other coaches to take the field and play rather than having to patiently work through all of the team’s mistakes.
Of course, that would be backwards, right? A coach’s job is to teach, manage, and direct the players so that they can improve, play, and win.
Imagine if the players all approached the coaches and said, “we know that you guys are much better than us, so we expect you to play for the rest of the season while we sit in the dugout and tell you what to do.” How ridiculous!
Yet, isn’t that what often happens in the church? Church members assume that since the pastors and staff are “experienced professionals,” surely they should do all of the ministering while the rest of the church watches. But that’s not biblical! Remember Paul’s encouragement to the Ephesians to:
“equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ…“ (Ephesians 4:14).
Does that mean that pastors and staff members shouldn’t do ministry? Of course not.
But that doesn’t mean pastors should do ALL of the ministry! Like coaches, pastors should help all the players get on the field!
If you are a church member, you’ve got a role to play. Stop expecting coaches to perform your role. If you are a pastor, don’t assume that its easier to just “do it yourself.” Ministry is not about getting everything done most efficiently. Its about incorporating the entire church to minister most effectively.
And that requires every player on the field.
Now, play ball!