I’m not a big baseball fan.Â I grew up in Chicago and when I was young there wasn’t much baseball to root for in either the Cubs or Sox.Â So, you can understand if I’m not passionate about our nation’s past-time.
I have however been watching a little of the playoffs this year.Â I’ve really like the winner take all games (the one game Wild Card playoff and the game 5).Â The pressure.Â The intensity.Â The “if I don’t do this now our season is over” feeling you see on the players faces.Â It’s crazy sometimes how it all comes down to one play…
I remember a similar feeling in my youth ministry.Â The feeling that every event, every Bible study, every mid-week meeting was that one moment that would give someone a chance to find Jesus or not.Â It was intense…Â I felt pressure.Â It was like every illustration, game, discussion, every talk… every word was going to bring a student closer to Jesus… or not.Â It caused me to plan and rehearse and schedule and, well, do all kinds of crazy things.
I now realize that Jesus uses any and all experiences to bring people into a deeper relationship with him.Â It comes during planned times and spontaneous times.Â Jesus connects with us wherever we are, whenever the time is right.Â I don’t believe I would plan and schedule and stress the same way with any youth group I was leading.Â I would want to create an environment in youth ministry where Jesus could step in at any moment – where Jesus was free to break in and change everything.
I guess it would be like a home run in the bottom of the ninth – without the fear of striking out.