REACHgathering 2016: Reflections from an Intern
Well, another REACHgathering is in the books. For three days (April 19-21) about 150 people, who are dedicated to using sports to reach people with the Good News, met at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN for the event. It was another fantastic, eye-opening experience to what God is doing all over the world through sports..and the lives that are preaching the Gospel through sports, which are being changed just as much. When in a position to help, I often forget that I may be the one that needs the most help. I go into a situation where I assume I know what to do and how to fix the problem. I go in with closed ears and a closed mind, and ready to tell the people struggling how I can help..before I know what their need is! It’s when this happens, that I’m blind to how they in fact may be ready to serve me and teach me what I lack. This is a completely new mindset. Many do not want to grasp this new mentality because it is a lowering of oneself. Admitting that one does not know what’s wrong and needs to listen to understand is tough, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a pride issue, or maybe it’s laziness. In either case, progress cannot be made until one steps down from his or her pedestal and submits to learning and not thinking, “I know it all already.” As the intern for CSO, I was tasked with promoting it and building more relationships at REACH. A fantastic opportunity for what I do best: meeting people. I did it a lot for my school, so I thought I’d be ready. However, being in a room full of sports ministers, fear set in. I completely didn’t think about my assignment and tried to “sell CSO” instead of listen to how people started working in sports ministry and what their struggles were. I felt I had to prove myself. So much of what I did at the conference the first day felt like failing. In fact, I need to rejoice, no matter how small the apparent success may be. The second day, after a discussion with my leaders Bob Schindler and Jeff Fox, I was rejuvenated. Through their leadership, God had stirred me up to care much more about with who I interacted. It was a great day and I made some fun connections. So let’s listen. To others’ needs, to what’s going on around us. Most importantly, to what God is trying to get us to understand, even if it’s just our need of Him and Him alone.