In talking with ML Woodruff, Sports Ministry Director for Istrouma Sports Outreach at Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA, he mentioned a new idea he implemented during spring baseball – team chaplains. Team chaplains were adults who assisted the Coaches as they served as “Spiritual Shepherds” and reached out to the players and families on the team.
As he outlined the idea and the way God provided a person to lead this ministry initiative, I asked him if his “Chaplain Commissioner” would write about the experience. Below are Vicki Saucier’s thoughts:
God is so much bigger than we can imagine.
ML Woodruff, our Sports Minister, asked me to consider being a chaplain for one of our baseball teams. After prayerful consideration, I told him I would love to.
He gave me the date of a meeting he and the chaplains would have to discuss our role. I was out of town and missed the meeting. We finally set a time to meet at his office so he could fill me in.
The morning of the meeting I couldn’t sleep, so I got up early to do my Bible study. It was talking about God using people in areas they don’t feel they are capable of being used! It was really good. Then I realized I had done the wrong week (of my Bible Study)! Oops! Oh well. I really enjoyed it and then I did the correct one.
Now – on to our meeting. ML and I taught together for several years and are good friends so we visited for a few minutes before the beginning. As the meeting progressed, I realized nobody, other than me, had agreed to be a chaplain. In fact, ML said, “What I really need is a Chaplain Commissioner!” “What’s that?” I asked. He explained that it was someone who would recruit chaplains for the 18 baseball teams we had! “Oh my!” I responded. I’m so not equipped to do that – was my thought – which I voiced. ML told me to pray about it.
I then had one of those “ah ha” moments when God sort of slaps you on the head! I remembered my ‘wrong-day’ Bible study. You see, God knows exactly what He’s doing! It was exactly the right day for me. I told ML I didn’t need to pray about it. God had already told me the job was for me and He would be right there with me!
He was, of course! I struggled at first, a little fearful of asking people, many I didn’t know, to do a job I was not really sure of. But, even though I got many “no’s,” I got more “yes’s.” God is so awesome! I got 16 chaplains, not 18, but I’ll do better for football.
Our chaplains did a great job this past baseball season. I look forward to watching God’s plan in action through our chaplain ministry. One of our chaplains is in poor health and originally said “no,” but called to tell me he believed he needed to do this. He was amazing! I saw him at several practices and almost every game on his walker. He sent emails to the coaches and parents. He is such a wonderful example to every member of our church. If we could be half the example this man was (Ferris Jordan), this world would be a much better place. Watch out world…Istrouma Baptist is on the move for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
There may be someone like Vicki in your ministry whom God has prepared to do something “they don’t feel capable” to do. What ideas and people has God put on your heart to pursue?