One of my pet peeves as a coach is when players become spectators. Often times they simply get caught watching the action instead of being an active part.
This is most often evident in rebounding. When a shot goes up most of the players watch and then try to react if it misses. Coaches go over and over rebounding principles in practices. They urge their players to find a man to box out. They remind their players that winning the battle of the boards is often an indicator of winning the game. Yet even with this prodding from the coaches it is very easy for players to get caught looking up instead of doing their jobs.
Coach Wooden didn’t teach boxing out like traditional coaches. This is because boxing out is only part of the equation. There also has to be a pursuit of the ball – having it is the object of the game. Therefore Wooden trained players that when the ball went up for a shot to find someone on the other team to make contact with, and then pursue the ball – the object of the game. (I say it is the object of the game because the only way to score is to have it.)
The church has a “rebounding” problem. It was warned against at its inception. In Acts chapter 1 Christ gives His final words before His ascension to the Father. His final command before He broke from the “huddle” was to evangelize the world – to be “witnesses.” (See 1:8)
Yet upon His ascension, His “shot” into heaven, angels appeared with the first warning to church:
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1)
If we put the final words of Christ and the warning from the angels together we can summarize it this way:
Stop being a spectator!
Make contact with someone!
Give the Gospel (the only thing one can “score” with)!
We need to be active players in the game!