Thursday, February 19, 2009

If Church Were Like Baseball

This is a wonderful time of year. Major League Baseball’s Spring Training has now started in Florida and Arizona and in just a few short weeks, another season will be underway. I get to visit Fenway Park this year. I am so excited. That is one of the stadiums I have not yet been to. The Red Sox will be playing my beloved Cleveland Indians and I am told that my seat is 3 rows behind the visitor’s dugout.

But that got me to thinking this week…what if the church was run like baseball? Can you just imagine it?

As the service opens, each stage participant is announced by the Public Address Announcer…“And now your starting line-ups for this morning’s service. In the drum cage…Josh Hamer. On the keyboards…Laura Distler. Playing bass…Mark Sell. On the sax...Andy Brightbill. Our vocalists…Christi Dearborn, Amy Hoffman and Lori Fleckenstein. Leading worship…Matthew McElravy. Doing theme set-up…Tim Auld. And behind the pulpit preaching this morning…Scott Distler.” How cool would that be?

And then prior to the official start of the worship service, everyone is asked to rise and remove their hats in honor of America for the playing of our National Anthem. Now of course when Pastor Tim is preaching, we would also have to sing, “O Canada” as well.

Throughout the morning our ushers could double as vendors going up and down each aisle selling soda, hot dogs, cotton candy and cracker jacks (by the way, if church were like baseball it would also cost you $20 to park in our parking lot).

Now there could be some drawbacks for me personally. What if my sermon wasn’t going real good one morning? Can you imagine our Elder Chairman, John Kegarise, calling a time out two-thirds of the way through my message, walking down the middle aisle and up on to the stage? Then after a few seconds of dialogue he points to the mezzanine and calls in for a relief pastor to continue the sermon.

But yet there could be an upside for me as well! What if at the end of my three year contract I was able to test the free agent market and see what other churches would be willing to pay me many millions of dollars more if I would sign on with them? The again, we could do some wheeling and dealing with other churches. Can you imagine this announcement in my Pastor’s E-mail Update:

“Grace Church announces today that it has worked out a trade with LCBC. We will be sending Doug Kegarise, our Director of Student Ministries, to LCBC for a first round draft pick; a player to be named later; and an undisclosed amount of cash.”

But it could also bring some darkness to the church. What if it came out that our Pastor of Connections tested positive for a spiritual performance enhancing substance? Come to think of it, maybe it’s better that we opt for the separation of church and baseball.


Andy Spade said...

I like it! There are even more possibilities. Satelitte campuses could serve as a Minor League system. We could go to Florida for services in February and March. Parades through Lititz after we conclude a knock-out successful sermon series. And the occassional bench-clearing brawl with LCBC.

Of course, if there are complaints about the pastor not wearing a tie, what do you think they'll say when you preach in your jersey and sliding pants?

But best of all, in the spirit of Ernie Banks, we could say "Let's play three!"

Pastor Scott said...

Yeah...if one of our techs or musicans has two bad Sundays in a row we can send them down to the satellite campus for a while. I like it!

Anonymous said...

heyyy! excuse me but you left out the guitarists in that line up!! =P

Pastor Scott said...

Anonymous - Wow, that would be like having a baseball team without its center fielder!!!! So sorry about the oversight!!

Duane Hurst said...

A couple disturbing thoughts popped into my mind! We would need several spitoons scattered around the stage,And all the necessary "adjustments" may not be very appropriate.
Wouldn't it be exciting to see what would happen if we all had the same enthusiasm for Christ as we do when a player simply knocks one out of the park!!

Anonymous said...

And, how about we do some drug testing; anyone on steroids?

That covers the physical aspect of the players, but should the organization be wary and testing for spiritual strength or weakness. For those who want to be top performers, what do you inject them with, coach?

I guess there isn't any easy way, to be worthy and successful performer, it involves hard work, seeking knowledge, having a good attitude, and a large dose of the love of God.

Pastor Scott said...

Yes, Duane, "disturbing" is a good word to describe your first comment. You saund like one of those guys who spends your Friday evenings in taverns listening to classic rock! By the way, that is one of the purposes of prayer before a proper adjustments can be made while everyone's eyes are closed.

Now as to the secodn part of your ocmment...AMEN!!!