Skip to main content

Call me coach

At Oakland we have just started our winter basketball leagues. For many of our kids, it is their first attempt playing organized sports (okay semi-organized sports), and practice can be quite an adventure. The kids are usually high energy and willing to learn, but they are also easily distracted. Their great concern with who is first in line can rival even the most engaging practice drill that a coach can posit. I have learned that trying to settle their disputes is about as productive as telling Costello “Who’s on first.”

All joking aside the kids are great. But, why am I coaching? Well, I was asked.

Research by Thom Rainer of Lifeway suggests that a significant number of people who are not involved with our churches would get involved if we invited them. In particular when someone we respect invites us to get involved, many of us are willing to get in the game.

We had our first game this past Saturday. The kids were very excited, but one of the kids was fairly nervous and unwilling to leave the bench and play in her first game. I told her not to worry because we were just here to have fun. She reluctantly came off the bench and played most of the game. She had a blast.

I think the bench is warm enough.

Comments

James said…
Good Work Coach!

Nice to have you off the bench and blogging again.
Brian said…
Good on you, mate! For blogging and for coaching. Moreover, for going after the one not playing, feeling left out even if she chose to be left out. And encouraging her step out and try something new.

Peace,
Brian

Popular posts from this blog

Why people don't go to church

As a pastor, one of the consuming questions with which I wrestle is “Why don’t people go to church?” In particular, the question is “Why don’t people come to my church?” If you doubt that people are opinionated, ask this question to a group of church people on a Wednesday night. I’ve studied church growth for several years, and I have a number of opinions about the matter myself. But, I wonder if we are asking the right question to the wrong people.

Several researchers in the last few years have begun asking people who don’t attend church why they don’t attend church, and the answers are interesting. George Barna asked this question and provided the answers in his book, Grow Your Church from the Outside In. The top five reasons that people gave for not attending church comprise 83% of the reasons why people don’t come to church.

1. No time; schedule conflicts; working 26%
2. Not interested; nothing to offer; no reason 16%
3. Don’t know 15%
4. My beliefs are different than the church’s 14%
5…

Casper the friendly atheist

Allow me to put on my educational hat for a review. I freely admit that it is much easier to critique a book than it is to write one.

Book review: Jim and Casper Go to Church

I recently read a new book, Jim and Casper Go to Church, and it has sparked my thinking related to church growth. Jim (a former Pentecostal preacher) hired Casper (a self-proclaimed atheist) to attend church services with him and give his impressions of the services. The premise of the book was irresistible to me as I wish to see the church from the blind side of Johari’s window. I enjoyed the case studies in this book, but I think the authors went too far with their applications.

Jim and Matt’s book was worth the read for me because it made me think, but not for the reasons the authors intended. All truth claims must be evaluated before acceptance into the core of church life. I think that this book fails to provide compelling evidence of truth for most churches.

From a research standpoint the book says more than it…

The Hypocrisy Card

Several years ago I served as pastor of a church in Alabama. I was energetic and frequently visited people door-to-door style like a candy bar salesman. During one such encounter a husband and wife (Let’s call them Bob and Susan.) invited me into their home. The couple’s house was adjacent to our church property, and from their living room window you could see right into my church office. I was exuberant as I presented my pitch to the party. After a few minutes of my exquisite presentation, I extended the invitation for the couple to join us for worship.

As I paused and pondered the precision of my performance, Bob quickly enlightened me concerning the dysfunctional nature of our church. Bob said that they no longer attended church (our church in particular) because people in the church are hypocrites. He cited numerous examples of hypocrisy including Sunday school teachers who frequented bars. He saw people from our church at these polluted places that he also patronized for…uhm… rese…