Friday, October 17, 2014

Titus 2:11

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."

That is my personal favorite quote.
It's what I have on the back of my church kickball shirt.
I play kickball for Jesus. Our team is PRAY BALL and I see it as a great ministry in the world... in Kyle, Texas.

Agreed... It's not a "think inside the box" Ministry. But it's a ministry nonetheless. It's us as Christians going out in the real world and playing a kids game. Why is it a ministry?

Well... we aren't the best team out there (we DO get pretty tight by the end of each season) but we go out there each game and do our best. We try not to let the game get to us... but if we do and we lose our tempers (it's happened) we apologize and make amends. We're not perfect... and it's time that Christians are seen in the world warts and all.

A quote that one of my teammates and a lay reader at our church says often is... "We are not a perfect people. We are a people that get together to worship a perfect God."

We also pray. At the conclusion of each game, we circle up and say a prayer. When it's my turn to pray I usually start out by saying "Dear God, thank you for letting us come out here to play a silly little kids game..."

Over the last 4 years of playing we've counseled people. We've talked about Christ and what he's doing in our lives. We've drank a few beers with the other teams after the games while talking about church...or life.. or nothing at all. We've prayed for and with other members of the kickball league and their families. We've joined a kickball family that comes together for fun, fellowship and support. We've opened doors and accepted and been accepted in return.

Isn't that what church is? I mean without the whole building and framework of "greeting / song / announcements / song / communion / offering / song / sermon / song / closing?"

We are all ministers just as we are all God's children. We ALL have been given the gift of forgiveness by God... we just have to accept and forgive ourselves and others.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."

ALL men (or people / beings / living things).

So... I choose to play kickball... with a bunch of people who might not attend church... who might have different beliefs than myself (or no belief at all)... who might have an opinion of church that has been formulated out of their own unfortunate experiences (or worse.. their reading of  negative media portrayals and NOT personal experience). I've also met some Emmaus brothers and folks who wear their faith on their sleeve... or have shared their love of God with me through knowing we're a church team. It takes all kinds to make a kickball league.
PRAY BALL (light blue) prays after a game with the Free Ballers

I play because it's fun. I play because it's a ministry. I play because I might be the only example of church some of those folks get that week... and I know I'm not perfect.. I know I'm flawed.. I know that I'm not the BEST representation of Christ and the church in the world (meaning I don't think a pastor would choose me as the Christian poster child)... but I know that I'm AN example and maybe a flawed human being who is trying his best to live a Christian life... warts and all... is what someone might need at that moment.

I am Methodist.
I am flawed. I don't try and hide it.
I accept that and am happy.


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