My neighborhood used to have some seriously cut- throat games of ball… We would have to call it BALL because of our mish-mash of equipment.

There were sometimes softballs- with baseball bats, soft ball mits- or t-ball mits, sometimes we used baseball mits with softballs. Wiffle balls were only used in a pinch. We used whatever equipment we had.

Everybody who wanted to, played. Adults, kids, teens and everyone in between. We were there to play. To have fun.

We took turns playing different positions- getting a feel for what we were good at, then playing our “position” as best we could. Usually, the oldest, and most “mature” would take turns being “coaches”.

Sometimes, this was good. Sometimes not so much. Different people had different approaches to “coaching” our little messy group. Some were great at encouraging each of us to do our best. Those coaches made us play better.

Some, were pretty convinced they were the only ones who could possibly play ball at all. They would shout out orders, tell us to swing harder, swing higher, jump higher, blah blah. Eventually, a few would just shove me (yeah- cause I stunk) out of the way- and make themselves “DH” Designated Hitter… or DR Designated Runner… and if they could have… they’d have been DP- designated pitcher, and DC designated catcher….. DF designated fielder… etc…

Yeah- pretty much they would have played all the positions themselves, if it had been physically possible. I think they were quite sure, that had any of these games ever actually been played they way they wanted… (with themselves playing all the positions…) we would have finally WON a game. It didn’t go that way. Actually, those games usually ended early, with someone crying and running off the field(ooops that would be me) because of seriously hurt feelings. Or- in a huge neighborhood brawl.

As a leader, I’ve faced some of the same temptations. It’s sometimes hard to trust others to play their “positions”. Not necessarily because they stink so much, as because they MIGHT stink. Occasionally, we all do.

I can remember being a MOPS Coordinator, and feeling the weight of the responsibility of the ministry, and feeling like I couldn’t be assured of a job well done, unless I was the one doing it. 16 years later, I can assure you of this: Had I done everyone else’s jobs, in addition to my own, I’d have quite ministry LONG ago. So would everyone around me.

Probably because I’d have lost my mind. (I may have, we’re still not 100% sure on that one)

Desiring to do a good job, is a noble thing. Stepping all over our teams, is not. The truth is, I’ve learned this mostly the hard way. By making the mistake of “rescuing” others, doing their jobs for them, micro-managing, criticizing … blah blah I’ve tried it all.

It just doesn’t work. What works- is a coach that can “bring out the best” in their team. Finding the right position, for the right player, then encouraging them to play with all their might.

In leadership, the same principle applies. See, few ministries have teams with all the “skills” and all the perfect equipment. They are usually built of very imperfect people, some bringing a t-ball mit, some a softball mit, another a baseball bat, yet another a catchers mit….. yet- somehow God uses all the pieces and parts to create a wonderful whole. He calls leaders, to encourage their teams to play their best, to use what equipment they have, and to grow and improve in their skills, learning by experience, and practice. Together.

God has been known to do great things with very little.

1 Cor 12-
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[
a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Dear Lord- please help me to lead well, help me to be an encourager, and a builder, please give me opportunities to use the equipment you’ve given me- and to grow in my “skills” God- please help me to bring out the best in others- and to rejoice in their growth! I love you Lord- amen

BTW- had a tough time finding a mish mash- free domain pic for this one— I know the picture is a cricket match. Just go with it. ;) You get the point. ;) ts