I just finished reading an interesting blog post by Trevin Wax entitled Are You a Part-Time Churchgoer? You May Be Surprised. Trevin qutoes another blog post by Angela Lu entitled Sacrficing Church for Sport. Both blog posts are worth the few minutes that it would take to read them. I read both articles sitting at my desk in the self proclaimed sports capital of Texas - Round Rock. A city that is often aglow from the lights from Old Settlers Park and other sports venues of our city. I thought about the families that I know that make the difficult choice to coach, cheer or in some way support a budding athlete on a Sunday because that is a day for league play. I know families that make painful choices to worship and study God's word with friends and neighbors or follow a gifted college athlete from town to town with the other sport parents gypsies who know the golden arches breakfast menu by heart.
I must confess as a minister parent I have faced the decision of leadership. Lead a congregation or lead a family. Study the story of Jesus and the children or cheer my child at a state soccer meet or xc meet. I have been the college parent sharing a meal after a college game only to drive late into the night to arrive in time for a short nap before participating in the life of my church with a sleep deprived heart.
Oh, as a staff member I am very aware of the "ball season" and the impact that it has on our church. I try to be understanding and gracious with fellow believers who are walking where I have walked.
From the perspective of a reformed sports parent, I would add the following to Wax's suggestion.
1. Plan an off season. Be passionate about the off season. It is a time to "round out" who we are. Being passionate about "rounding out" who we are is important.
2. I have a video of a friend teaching her son hymns of the faith - they call it worship in the car. Maybe some words from Ephesians 5 might be helpful. 15So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you plan the trip don't forget to plan the spiritual time.
3. Remember, every game is important. Take lots of pictures and video. Trust me you will want it later. Your presence speaks volumes. Sometimes you can teach more by not being at the game or arriving at the game in your Sunday best. If you arrive in your Sunday best, just be careful how you conduct yourself. (Ask me to tell you the story about the night I fell under conviction of the Holy Spirit and how it changed my sports life.)
4. Be a team player. That's right if you know you are in the sports parent season of life join a team. Team teach, co-lead or be quick off the bench in a supportive role. Just make sure that your kids have to sit through your "game" as well. There is something to be gained by watching an older more mature "team".
Love to know your thoughts or comments. Larry