10 am - 2 pm: working in my office
3:30 pm - 6 pm: youth open gym/playing basketball
6 pm - 7 pm: filling in for your junior high basketball coach who is on vacation
9 pm - 10:15 pm: playing softball
(and Monday evening was spend at men' s open gym basketball as well)
Looking at this list doesn't sound like much of a ministry. However, here is what I really have accomplished in the first two days of this week:
1. Monday night, halfway through open gym, I was able to lead a prayer with 30 young men, most of whom would never step foot in a sanctuary. We talked about trusting God in an unstable economy, and asked God to help us to be men of integrity that make a positive difference in our workplaces.
2. After basketball on Monday, I had a conversation with a man who was impressed by our open gym format and began asking questions about our church. He shared that he recently moved to Columbia and hasn't been attending a church, but that he has a religious background. I invited him to join us on a Sunday and asked him to consider helping me coach in our Upward Basketball children's league.
3. While in my office yesterday, I was working on collecting registrations for our Upward league. Last season about half our children heard about Jesus for the first time. Many of these kids come from rough family situations and were probably in the most positive environment they've ever been in.
4. During youth open gym, there is a young man that comes every week and asks me to play one-on-one. We have probably played each other about 40-50 time in the last few weeks. One day he might beat me if he keeps practicing. He is trying to get him life back on track after making some dumb decisions. Each week I am able sit and talk with him about making good decisions, ask about how he is doing at school, and tell him about the life that Jesus has for him if he wants it.
5. At junior high practice, one young man kept saying "I'm not good at basketball" and apologized to his teammates about every ten seconds. I was able to work with him on a couple basics of the game. I reminded him every chance I had that even though he didn't shoot or dribble well, he was a rebounding beast and had good court vision. I don't know if it made any difference to him or not, but I could tell that he wasn't told what he did well very often; only what he did wrong.
6. At the softball game I was able to have a conversation with a 30-year-old war veteran with two young kids. He is a very nice guy. I don't know where he stands spiritually but I do know that he is not involved in a church. One day we will have that conversation.
7. I set up a lunch appointment with a 19-year-old young man on our softball team that is in desperate need of some positive male influence in his life. We go out to lunch a couple of times a week to talk about life.
I type all of this to say that yesterday was a weird day. I played a lot of sports. It would be easy to only see that part of the day. However, with a little intentionality, it I did a lot more than that. Sometimes I love my job. Who wouldn't love spending a work day playing ball? At other times I don't like it so much. My wife works until 5 o'clock every week day. I will be at some aspect of my job until at least 9 o'clock every night this week from Monday through Thursday. That is really tough. I can't imagine what it would be like for Christie and I to both be done with work at 5 o'clock each day and have our evenings together. Despite those difficulties, I am so thankful to have a job that allows me to do something that I love, while making an impact for the Kingdom of God in the lives of the people around me.