Two more weeks of CSports Soccer to go! Let’s plan for a big and successful finish. Please emphasize to your team families through emails, texts, and verbal communication the importance of being at the CSports Soccer Celebration this coming Sunday at 3:00pm in our gym. Remind them to be here several minutes early so that they can fill out the response cards which are vital to our ministry’s continuous growth and understanding of how we’re doing. We need the input from everyone.
I’m receiving paperwork daily from teams who have completed their Team Service Project. I hope these acts of service are meaningful to the players as they selflessly do things to help others. It’s funny how when we do things for others we find ourselves being blessed!
This afternoon I will be receiving a call from a reporter with Outreach Magazine in Colorado Springs, Colorado who contacted me a few weeks ago after seeing our ministry activities on our website. This magazine publishes activities of the 100 fastest growing churches and ministries each year. He and I have spent some time on the phone as he asked questions regarding our origin, purpose, methods, and successes. I related to him a number of steps we took to get where we are and (to make a short story long) I told him about our process during which we felt the call to do Recreation as a ministry of this church. About 17 or 18 years ago the leadership of this church felt led to build a big, multi-purpose building with a gym. One component of the facility would be fitness and recreational opportunities in the gym. The gym would also be the “New Song Sanctuary” on Sundays. As I was preparing to retire from my position with the Juvenile Court in 2003, I was invited to assume the position of Recreation Minister. One of my first acts was to organize a steering committee for both wisdom and consensus as we created policies and procedures. The first question we pondered was, “Why are we going to all of this expense and effort for recreational activities?” One of the committee members quoted Proverbs 3:6 which clearly directs us to, “In all you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” That answered our first question, and it was pretty smooth sailing from then on.
As we were preparing to open our facility I was called upon to lead our weekly church staff devotion. I told the story from John 21 in which the disciples spent all night fishing and caught nothing. They returned to shore exhausted. They saw Jesus (but didn’t know it was Him) on the shoreline and He asked, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” When they told Him “no” He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” They did that, and caught a boat load of fish. Now, here’s the question; these guys were professional fishermen. They had been working hard all night and were tired and ready to come in. A man (Jesus) on the shore told them to throw the nets on the other side of the boat…and they did it! They felt led to do something seemingly irrational, but they did it and were blessed.
Stepping out in faith brings us these opportunities and blessings. When the Holy Spirit calls a _____________ (insert your qualifications) to lead a ball team and to do devotions as you minister to numerous families, changing lives and futures, it doesn’t really fit the “life goals” we may have set for ourselves. However, when we have given our lives to Jesus and to His will, we find ourselves called to do things we’ve never done before. The Spirit equips us and we are blessed for doing them. In the past 14 years, our community has been blessed by the things that you, and those who came before you, were called to do and did so as led by the Holy Spirit. Thank you all, Coaches, Team Parents, Prayer Partners, Rec Volunteers, and Rec Staff, for all you do for this Ministry and for the Kingdom of God. Keep it going! Some of the children you are leading will be CSports coaches one day. Teach them right!
See you on the field!
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6