(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
My Angels have fallen from heaven. Their halos are crooked. They started out this season so promising. They were tied for first place at one point and they have two of the best players in the game. There was lots of promise and lots of excitement and good vibes going around. But there’s a problem. There aren’t just two guys on a baseball team; there are nine, and more than that, there are at least three or four relief pitchers used in every game. That’s twelve or thirteen players or more a game. It’s a team effort. Two guys just can’t do it without a balanced team around them. They’re lacking the balance and the consistency. When they pitch well, they have no offense and they lose games by scores of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. And when they hit well, they don’t pitch well and they lose games by scores of 11-10, 9-7 and 6-5. How frustrating is it to score in double digits and still lose? It takes a toll on the emotions. And now, mid-season at the All Star break, they are 20.5 games out of first place. It’s possible to make that up in the last half of the season, but highly improbable.
It takes a team to operate a country, a corporation, or a school, and it takes a team to operate the Catch. While Marti and I might be the most visible, it takes Vanguards and MemberPartners, and prayer warriors, and Prayer Partners, and a Director of Discipleship and Community, and an Associate Pastor, and our partnerships, and our Jesus Music pioneers, and over 400 volunteers to pull this off as we introduce the gospel of welcome — grace turned outward — to everyone, everywhere.
And in the same manner, it takes the entire body of Christ to accomplish God’s will in the world — each one of us using our spiritual gifts for those inside and outside the faith. And obviously God isn’t done yet because we’re still here. As long as we are still breathing, we’re still under construction and the game’s still on. And there is no All Star break because there are no All Stars. Christ shines through all of us because He is the only star. He is our light. And as we’ve found out over and over again, He shines brightest through our struggles and our weaknesses.
So as Jamie Owens-Collins sings:
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Give it all to Him.
‘Cause He cares so much more than you know
When it seems who you really want to be
Is someone you’ll never become
Just look how far you’ve come
So don’t stop — don’t even slow down. God has a work for you to accomplish, and if you’re not sure what that is, contact us — we’ll help you find it.
And who knows, maybe there’s still hope for the Angels. I think I’ll send Jamie’s song to my friend John Carpino, President of the Angels. You never know.