What do care ministry and football have in common?
We often use analogies to share ideas and information, as doing so helps people to recognize truths that they might otherwise overlook. While the 2016/17 NFL season ended earlier with Super Bowl 51, this article shares a primary tenet of football to demonstrate its relevance to caring ministry. Regardless of whether you are a football fan or you could care less about the game, take the time to reflect on the following:
- If you were to ask ten people within your congregation to state the purpose of football, how do you think they would respond? The chances are that most spectators would say “to win” or “to be entertained.”
While it is imperative to be clear about your desired outcome, for the players, the blessings go far beyond just winning the game. In an article entitled What is the purpose of Football?, the author states that “The proper purpose of sport in a healthy culture is transcendence …to surpass or exceed ordinary limits.” He goes on to share the many things he learned from playing the sport that he could never have learned in a classroom. For example:
- How to block and tackle
- How to memorize plays and read keys
- How to rely on others and be reliable
- How to successfully compete
- Commitment to training and preparation
- The liberating benefits of subordinating my self-absorption and petty interests to a larger purpose
2. If you were to ask the same people within your congregation to share the purpose of caring ministry, what would they say? Do you think they would:
- Consistently indicate the desired outcome?
- Comment on the types of issues often associated with caring?
- Mention activities commonly associated with pastoral or congregational care?
- Correlate caring to discipling?
Similar to football, there are many unforeseen benefits and blessings that come from implementing a biblically-based model of care. To help you recognize the importance of caring well, and in ways that glorify God and make a Kingdom difference, consider the following:
Jesus loves and cares for us! Likewise, He commands us to love and, therefore, to care for one another. (See Matt. 22:34-40, John 13:34-35, 15:9-14, Gal. 5:4, Eph. 5:1-2)
Caring is discipling! To appreciate caring from a biblical perspective it may be helpful to think about people’s circumstances and challenges as precipitating events, and expressions of care as discipling opportunities.
There is massive growth potential! Difficult circumstances are often what prompt connections and spark people’s faith. Likewise, caring has a way of revealing people’s faith, which then fosters growth opportunities for people receiving care, and for those serving in a caring capacity.
At Care Ministry, we advocate and advance a biblically-based discipling model of care that is revealed in Scripture and grounded in God’s Word. If your church is serious about fostering deeper relationships, helping people experience spiritual growth, and enhancing the sense of community, it’s time we talk. But be prepared, the benefits and blessings inherent to discipling relationships are bountiful.