Playing Soccer is Like Ministry

So, I’m playing soccer again. Right now a bunch of us play on Sunday nights and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m the “old guy”. Not only, are we having fun on the field, but a group of us decided to join an indoor soccer league. Now, I’m on a soccer team.

I played soccer when I was young. My older brother was a great soccer player. He played varsity in high school and toured Europe playing soccer. Me on the other hand, galloped around on the soccer field on all fours, played kick ball with some other kid behind the goal post when I was supposed to be playing goalie and was kind of timid to get in there and kick the ball. However, I’ve always loved the sport. Now, that I’m older and a sports fanatic, I’m much more aggressive, very competitive and still love playing.

Here’s two of the four things I’ve learned from this great sport:

1. You must have endurance in soccer.
Soccer is unlike other sports. There are no timeouts or catching your breath. You are constantly on the lookout and constantly running. Ministry can feel the same way. We feel like we’re always running—and we are. There are no timeouts, there is just in between games. But, even then we’re practicing for the next game—event, service, project, etc. Make sure you’re resting in between “games” if you want to be effective for the long haul.

2. Soccer is not always about what happens now.
Soccer is a low scoring game. You feel like you work so hard all game long and yet only score a single point or two. Over the season, points are accumulated and that determines who moves on to the playoffs. Ministry can feel the same way at times. It’s easy to get discouraged when we want to see big results real fast. The church was never designed to be a fast, now, high scoring game. The church is most effective when we understand that big results come over time with hard work. Not only will results come, but they will be LASTING results.

Craig Groschel states, “Because you feel entitled, you [this generation] often overestimate what God wants to do through you in the short run and underestimate what God wants to do through you in the long run.”

Thoughts?

-PJ

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jsmith@churchleaders.com'
Justyn Smith is married to an amazing wife and is a father to five children. He is the children's pastor at South Hills Church in Corona, CA and has a passion to help other children’s pastors become great leaders in their local church and ministry. He consults, writes, and is a frequent conference speaker. Justyn is the host of Celera Kidmin (click http://www.celeragroup.org/network-coaching/kidmin.aspx for more info) and has recently been named one of "Children's Ministry Magazine's" Top 20 to Watch. Twitter: pastorjustyn Facebook: facebook.com/pastorjustyn