During the past couple of weeks, I’ve attended several practices and games for Cole’s soccer team. In that time, I’ve come to realize soccer is a lot like church and evangelism.
Some get in there and give it their all.
This is what Cole does. From the moment he walks on the field, he plays hard until another player is sent in to substitute for him so he can have a break, or until one of the coaches calls a timeout.
Some aren’t very committed, but they try to make a good show. Still, you can tell their heart really isn’t in it.
One or two of the kids on Cole’s team only perk up when the ball comes near them. They make a valiant effort to stop the other team from scoring or help their own team to score. But the rest of the time, they just stand there and watch everyone else.
Then there are the kids who don’t even do that. They stand as still as statues and do nothing even when the ball comes to them. They step aside and let the ball (and the players) pass them by.
Finally, there are the kids who start out strong but get distracted easily. They may play hard, but will come to a dead stop to tie their shoelace, look at an airplane or catch a cricket. They lose sight of what they are supposed to be doing.
In all of these examples, I see parallels to church and evangelism. Some Christians give it their all. Some Christians make a good show, but really aren’t committed. Some Christians aren’t committed at all. And some start out strong, but get distracted from what they are supposed to be doing.
In all cases except the first, the soccer team suffers because not everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing. In all cases except the first, the kingdom of Christ suffers because not everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.
I’m not saying we should all be giving 100 percent all the time, because I know that is just not possible. However, that is not an excuse not to give 100 percent whenever we can.
If a team is going to win, they must learn to play together and support one another. If God’s people are going to further the kingdom of Christ, we must all likewise work together and give our best effort (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.