The Christian life is like baseball's spring training

  • Follow Your Faith

Like a major-league baseball team owner looking for some promising new talent, the eyes of God are watching the congregations that profess to be playing a good game on behalf of His Son Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Mike Shearon is senior pastor at Harlem United Methodist Church in Harlem.
The Rev. Mike Shearon is senior pastor at Harlem United Methodist Church in Harlem.

He likes to occasionally send out scouts – some folks with an eagerness and interest in the game of life – to see how the different teams are doing.

They will hear complaining from players (who do not know they are talking to the ones who are scouting), who will share their stories of past injuries or bad relationships with their managers. The Owner will probably avoid including them in His list of those who bring a richness of new life to His team for the upcoming season.

But fortunately, some of the congregations and teams will have some outstanding players with genuine talent. These will be the ones who have gifts not only in fielding (and the mission field), but also a talent for being able to bring home anyone stuck on base.

The exceptional ones will possess a humble spirit and an expression of gratitude for being allowed to be a part of the team. These players are quick to mention how much they appreciate the opportunities afforded them by the Owner. They usually show up on time and are eager to learn from the coaches; they have a gift of “teachability” that allows them to grow and improve.

Romans 15:7 tells us, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Hebrews 13:2 reads, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

We have the eyes of God watching us and we should be especially hospitable to folks who are visiting our congregations. Whether they are angels checking out things for God or humans scouting for a few positive people who love God, we need to show our love for the game of life by actually playing some ball.

The scouts are not interested in hearing you tell of your love for the game. They want to see your participation. Truth be told, many scouts do not wish to just observe from the stands. They would like to participate and see just how well you play close up and personally.

When was the last time you were aware that there might be some scouts looking at you? When was the last time you invited someone to leave the stands and to “come on down?” Do you even know where your glove is?

THE REV. MIKE SHEARON IS SENIOR PASTOR AT HARLEM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN HARLEM.

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