Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Borrowed Story

In his book Velvet Elvis (you have to read the introduction to know why it is named that … better yet, read the whole book!), Rob Bell, pastor of Mar Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI, relates the story of a young woman, an active practitioner Wicca. When he first met her she had been coming for several weeks, and she told him that she hated everything he said from the pulpit. Long story short, she kept coming and the truth and love of God captured her heart. Several months later she told Bell to give her name and phone number to anyone who was in the same situation she had been in so she could share her pilgrimage with them.

Unpacking that story, Bell then noted that some of us don’t have a big, dramatic story like that; so we need to borrow someone else’s. I was talking with Blake earlier this week and learned of a story that belongs to one of our members … and I don’t think he would mind me borrowing it. I think I understand the details accurately enough that the point will be clear.

We have a member who coached a baseball team to tournament participation this past summer. After they won a Saturday game that put them in the next round, he gathered the team (and parents) around him and told them that he knew that many teams competing in the next round of the tournament would be practicing on Sunday morning, but that he was going to be at church and encouraged them to do the same. He then told them where he went to church and invited any of them who did not have a church to come to his church, either to our 8:30 contemporary service or to our 11:00 traditional service. The team parent that related this story to Blake said that it was very clear that he loved God and he loved his church (both services, not just the one he preferred to attend).

What an example for the boys on his team, for their parents, and – need I point out – for us as well! This man has a proven track record as an excellent baseball coach and his love for the sport and for his teams comes out in what he does. But his love for God is greater and orders his priorities. Beyond that, the way he talked about his church in the community is an example worthy of following.

That’s enough to think about for now.


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