I’ve been around a lot of baseball coaches in the past 20 years. One thing I have heard from many (not all, but many) is that they only want to work with the best kids. They might only want to coach Varsity baseball, or they might only feel fulfilled if they work with college players. I’ve even heard some say that they “wouldn’t waste their time” coaching younger kids or those with less talent.
It seems that there is a human tendency that brings our flesh to that point and I think the issue is valuing head knowledge over wisdom. The more we learn or feel like we know, the higher status we apply to ourselves. And, the better our experiences and success, that pride can go even higher. We forget the words of Albert Einstein - “the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
Here recently I’ve been feeling a strong pull to do more ministry in the baseball community. I want to coach more like Jesus. I want to point more kids to Jesus. I’m trying to reject and push against the resume I’ve accumulated through the years, and lean into what would allow me to show Jesus to more people.
As a part of that process, I met with a pastor from our church last week. As we discussed ministry, vocation, and so on, he asked me this question - “Would you prefer to do ministry for believers or non-believers?” I had never considered the difference, but there is a profound divide between ministry to both of these groups, isn’t there?
I wonder if some of this separation comes from the same thing as the older baseball coach experiences - a lot of head knowledge that leads to a level of arrogance. We all need reminders like this at different stages and different phases. Maybe my thoughts in this area come from the later-in-life transformation that I experienced in my 27th year. I resonate and celebrate with the person who comes to the Cross like a child. May we all take the reminder this week and walk with a child-like faith this week, seeking the newness and the wonder of a child in faith.
Matthew 18:1-4, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”