Playing Basketball is Like Church Involvement

My basketball game is like my church involvement; I’m the worst player out there.

Allow me to go deeper. When I show up to play ball with some guys, sometimes the only positive I bring is making the teams even. I don’t mean by picking the teams or by skill level. I mean they would have an uneven number of guys without me.

Oh, I have a few moves. I make a few shots. Even a blind dog can find the hydrant every once in a while. But in terms of skill level, I’m not bringing a whole lot to the table.

The same goes at church.

I do make the teams even.

Okay, even in this sense is different, because not all churches have the same attendance. But what they do share in common is that never has a church had everyone show up on the same Sunday. I’m making that factoid up, but seriously, could you imagine.

Let me tell you an insider secret to being a pastor. We all have the same conversation with our spouse after every Sunday. It goes like this;

Hey honey, I didn’t see _______. Then we imagine what church would be like if everyone showed up. When I say the teams are even in church, it would be more apt to say complete. If every person matters, then it matters whether or not we show up.

I do change the outlook of the game.

Closely related to making the teams even, each person changes the outlook of the game. In basketball, it may mean my skill turnovers will mean a loss for my team.

But in church, it means that every gift God has intended to be there will be there, working together to reveal God’s love to other people, who each have their own gift. If each person is a part of the body of Christ, as Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 12, then every church is missing body parts on any given Sunday.

I do give my all, no matter what. 

There is really no getting around this point. On the court, I can hustle and try really hard to score, rebound and defend. The 2 or 3 points I score are 2 or 3 points more than my team might have had.

In Church, the math works even easier. We give our best and we trust God to do the rest. The Apostle Paul said as much in 1 Corinthians 3:7 when he wrote that “God makes things grow”. So it would seem that your involvement in church is much like my involvement in basketball. It is valuable for us, and for everyone else, that we show up, no matter what we think of our game. If only God’s promise to make things grow also included my height.


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