Last week I referred to all of us as “baseball missionaries.” Through writing and coaching the game, I’ve learned how to help people make connections to faith with, through, and using examples from the game. It’s an opportunity to live like Jesus if just for a moment - you get to help someone make a connection to the Holy Spirit through an example from baseball. It’s truly amazing.
You can do this, too. In fact, I would say that you’re called to do it. You’re called to make disciples of baseball players and coaches, just as I am. You’re called to teach them and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In our Western model of education and ministry, we have come to believe that you need an expert to do these things. Nope, not a thing. The Bible doesn’t say you need certified, to take a class, or earn a degree to do spiritual work. I’m certainly not downplaying those things, and I have been looking into things like ordination, seminary, and the like. I’d enjoy doing that level of learning. But it’s not a requirement.
Check out John 4:2. The whole verse is in parentheses: (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples).
Interesting, isn’t it? Jesus is on earth, He’s the expert. Does He do the baptizing? Nope, the disciples do it. The guys He found in all walks of life and in all levels of failure. They did it. There’s are two really important principles in here, and I think it carries over to other parts of the ministry as well. The first is to just do the work the Holy Spirit is calling you to do. Be available to people and share what Jesus is teaching you.
The second is hold that work loosely. In Acts 8, we are blessed with the story of Philip and the eunuch. I’d encourage you to read the whole story, but take a look at the baptism part of the story in Acts 8:36-39:
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
This was one of those stories that I had to pay attention to as it came up in a conversation with my wife and then in the sermon at church. Here’s Philip teaching the eunuch and they come upon some water. Philip baptizes him and the Lord carries Philip away. Philip’s work there was done. Move on. Let the Holy Spirit go from there.