Home > The Slow Grow, Yellow w/ White Trim > Spring Training

Spring Training

Yesterday (Valentines Day) the Detroit Tigers began Spring Training in Florida.  I don’t know about you, but I’m just a little bit geeked.  Alex and I already looked at the schedule for home games this season and started planning out our attack of Comerica Park.  The Mariners come early on in the season (April 28, 1:05pm, section 102 – second row) and the Twins come at the end of May.  If time, money, and mom allow we may get to a third game later in the season.

I love the anticipation!  I love seeing pictures of the pitchers and catchers getting on the same page again…learning to read one another’s minds and signals…catchers starting to get the feel for each pitcher’s particularities.  Then the position players will come and the rhythms will be established…the unspokenness of a double play…the singular mind and shared goal of each play…the backing up of this player and that…the exact positioning and fundamentals that make for success…the joy of knowing that any pitch can bring an infinite number of possibilities.

I look forward to watching the games on TV and checking the box scores of the games I missed.  I can’t wait to train my son to keep score and predict certain pitches or defensive strategies.  Then, soon, the weather will warm enough here that we’ll be outside playing catch and the ground will dry out enough to shag fly balls and take grounders.  It’s gonna be great!

Here’s my challenge as baseball relates to church planting (or maybe just worship in any church).  How does one generate that expectation, that anticipation, that excitement for worship?  How does a pastor or worship leader or teacher plant seeds within a congregation that makes them look forward to coming to church…nay, to never want to miss?  This is my challenge in a congregation where many people do not have a lifetime of making church a priority.

We have 100 or so people who would call Embody their church, but only 65-70 on a regular basis.  I know that this is a pretty average average for any church.  I would love it, however, if each family or person would go to bed each Saturday feeling like I will feel the night before I head to Comerica with my son – anticipating being involved in something great and wonderful and larger than ourselves.  How do we train ourselves to wake up on a Sunday morning and desire to hear God’s word and sing God’s praises with the same enthusiasm that is awakened within me at the first smell of hot dogs, peanuts, and a grossly overpriced beverage?

Let’s begin this week to train ourselves to predict each other’s movements and double play positions.  Let’s begin training our hearts for a life of service together.  Let’s gather Sunday morning in our respective church buildings and fulfill a God-given desire to be sent.  It’s Spring Training, and even if there’s snow on the ground near your house, we can begin to prepare for the sowing and reaping God has planned, for the throwing and catching of goodness and the home run swings we must attempt in the name of Christ.

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  1. Dave
    February 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Great stuff, Jim.

    Really, really like not only your analogy but how you wrote it up.

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