These days. it isn’t odd for me to be sitting at a basketball gym for practices or games. My calendar is color coordinated by person – and it looks like a color wheel of practice schedules and games!
My wife and I sit down each week to discuss how we are going to divide and conquer it all. Neither of us ever played an organized game of basketball. And since Akeem Olajuwon left the Houston Rockets, I don’t attend games in person or even watch them on TV.
But for some reason, my kids love the game of basketball. Four of the six play at some level, and I’m pretty sure that, when the younger ones get old enough, they’ll play too.
So, when my oldest was playing for her high school team in a nearby town, I texted my friend who is a pastor in that town to see if he wanted to join me in watching her play. He could have said no or told me he was busy with ministry or family, and if he would have said that, I wouldn’t have batted and eye and gone to the game anyway.
But he didn’t. Instead, he showed up to watch my daughter’s JV game and cheer her on. He sat next to me the whole game while I was loudly yelling and recording the game for my wife to watch later. During the breaks, we talked ministry and family, but mostly we just enjoyed the game.
Pastor, we all are busy. Sometimes we brag to each other about how busy we are, like it’s some badge of honor we wear. But in all the craziness of ministry and life, we need to show up for one another. When we do, it doesn’t have to be a deep conversation about how ministry is going or what books we are reading. It can simply be a phone call to see how they are doing, spending time listening to them talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of life.
If you haven’t reached out to another pastor in the past couple of weeks, do it now. Text them to set up lunch. Call them and ask how they are doing. Maybe you even show up for them in ways they wouldn’t expect – and you will be a blessing to them in ways you didn’t expect.
Proud dad sidenote: I know you’re wondering how the game went. My daughter scored 13 points for her team; she drained a couple three’s and made a few fast-break layups, even when fouled. Most importantly: Our team won and now I get to tease my pastor friend that my town is better!
Published December 3, 2021