Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015 - Preparing for Game Time

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail…

I spend most weeks trying to encourage a MAD lifestyle that is “in the game” making a difference. As believers we commissioned, commanded, encouraged, entrusted, equipped, etc. to love, serve, share, teach, etc. God’s Playbook (the Bible) is not designed for passivity… therefore I will remind you to Go MAD right out of the gate this week…


Yet I have been reminded through my reading selections and also through many things going on in our lives that we need to remember the importance of preparation for this active “in the game” approach.


Every player looks forward to the beginning of a season and the opportunity to run out of the tunnel, hear the cheers of the crowd (and even the jeers of the opposing crowd), and face off with the opponents. (They even have little smoke tunnels available for Upwards basketball introductions.) The fact is that it is exciting once it is “Game Time!”


Yet as I was reading (yet another book) about John Wooden it struck me again how he talked about his greater joy being practice time. He loved the opportunity to teach the game and life to his players and used games only as a gauge of what to work on next. Coach Wooden was incredibly detailed in his practice plans and preparation of his teams. His practices were so high paced and intense that his players often say the games seemed to be a slow-down from practice…


As I reflected on that I thought about how much I enjoyed the teaching time in practices when I was still coaching. I absolutely loved seeing guys get better! I loved that the applause and encouragement (and correction) was from coaches and teammates that were bonding together for a common cause. And now looking at my time in ministry I realize the same is true…


Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the game on the front lines of ministry. I love sharing the Gospel! I love serving and loving on folks in the name of Christ! I love going out as commissioned from the Lord Himself! Yet I find a different spring in my step when I get to teach how to share the Gospel… or equip and prepare others for going “in the game.” I love seeing others going deeper in their walk, learning more about the Playbook, and implementing “game plans” to Go MAD! In hoops we call it practice… in the Playbook it is discipleship; (which is a major part of what we do at InBounds Ministries!)


I still love sharing our discipleship motto: “Get schooled now… so you won’t get schooled later!”


The Playbook commands us to:

  • Not forsake the assembling of ourselves together – so we can encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Meet together to pray, fellowship, break bread, and study the Playbook (Acts 2:42)
  • And I could go on and on…
    Time together for church, life groups, Bible studies, fellowships, etc. is essential for “Preparing for Game Time!” Without these things we are preparing to fail!
    Are you a part of a church? …a life group? …a “team” fellowship? (You should be!)
    Maybe you want to go from an average “player” to a great “player”? You could even invest some of your time in good books, a Bible college course or two or maybe even a degree… In other words put in the “practice time” to be fully ready to make a difference in “the game.”
    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
    Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
    We need time together with the “team” apart from the bright lights and cheering or jeering crowds. Together we prepare and then together we go into battle!

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