Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Church of Baseball aka The Church vs. Baseball

The weather is warming up, the flowers are blossoming, and the bugs are moving about that means that spring is in full bloom. It also means a new season of baseball both for the Big Leaguers and the little kids at the local park. Pulaski is a small town and one of the biggest things in this small town is little league baseball. I use the term little league to encompass a myriad of leagues with kids from 4 to 18. Little league baseball is king in this town. Every time the park is open, Saturdays, Monday nights, etc. the place is packed. Some teams practice seven days a week. These are little kids, I think even the MLB players get one day off every now and then. Now, before you think I am unbaseball and thereby unAmerican let me say that I love baseball from the pro teams (Go Red Sox!!), to the Minors, to the kiddies playing at the local park. There is a beauty and innocence to the game when it is played by children.

However, this innocence is soon lost when overzealous parents and coaches wear these kids down to the nub. Kids have no time to be kids because there is always some place to be, baseball, 4-H, Boy or Girl Scouts, drama, etc. They certainly do not have time for church. OOPS I guess I showed my hand on that one. I attended a workshop Monday night on how to bring more kids and teens into the church. While their methods were good I think they miss the reality of the situation. How can you share the love of Christ with kids if they do not come to church? When I was a youth director at my home church we were never able to schedule meetings, missions, fund-raisers, etc because of little league, 4-H, soccer, etc. It was frustrating beyond belief.

I think it is great when parents get involved, coaching the team, cheering from the stands. I think baseball is excellent for kids. It gets them outside, gives them exercise, and builds teamwork and leadership. However, the Church offers something greater than all of these things. I want to ask these parents, "When your kids are 18-24, in college and they are faced with the hard moral decisions, what will help them make good choices...baseball or the teachings of Jesus Christ?"

One of the leaders of the aforementioned workshop said that "it is great when kids bring their parents to church." I think that is sad. It is the parent's job to be parents to the child not vice versa. One of the most important things that a parent can do is build a foundation of faith for their kids. They have to want to go to church and then their kids will want go to church. If the kids do not want to go, then make them go. You are the parent. Once the kids get there it is up to us to make it worthwhile.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Amen...thanks for the comment on my blog as well.