Post by guest author, Ashley Buchanan – Recreation Coordinator at Flint Groves Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC
Am I Doing God’s Will?
After being on staff in the Recreation Ministry for a while, you can have dry spells that can be discouraging. Often times you may feel like you are just going through the motions from one sport season to another and wonder if God is really doing anything through all this? It just seems all I am doing is processing names, getting coaches, ordering uniforms and trophies and organizing parties; just a few of the tasks I feel I seem to get lost in. Prayer and devotions, well often I feel I do good to squeeze them in much less make them a priority. It just often feels like programing, programing, and more programing. And then begins the whole mental process of asking, “Am I really doing things in the order and manner God has called me to lead the Recreation Ministry I serve in?”
His Gentle Reminders:
This whole salvation process- it is really not up to me! What is up to me is to show God’s love and share His gift of salvation with others through relationships and the tool of sports. The rest is between the Holy Spirit and the families God entrust to the Recreation Ministry as they come through the church. Duh on my part- what would make me think I could do God’s job?! Pride and sinful nature can knock you to your face sometimes!
The “Smith Family”:
The Smith Family is a great group of kids and parents. Three children growing up in a bi-racial world. Their parents have struggled for years to find a place where the kids “fit-in” and were not frowned upon for being bi-racial. So, they entered the Recreation Ministry here through our basketball program three years ago. The first year seemed to go well and they returned for a second. During the second season we started a program called “The Escape”. The Escape was a coffe house/lounge for parents during practice. This opened a door to an inviting setting and a non threatening place just to talk everyday life or engage in conversations with those who were interested. Mrs. Smith was interested. Interested enough to want to know why we cared so much for those in the community and then for two hours began to ask questions on the difference in Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity. She left that night….in thought, but with no desire for commitment in a relationship with Christ.
Fast forward to the next year, this year, of basketball. The family returns. The kids excited and the mom asking when The Escape would be this season. Again, the same questions for the same amount of time; yet still, no desire for a commitment. However, there is a desire to continue playing sports here- baseball and softball for the kids. The parents are starting to feel accepted and the kids are building relationships with other kids and enjoying every minute of sports!
During baseball/softball season the Mrs. Smith finally realized what all the talk was about during those hours in The Escape over the past few years. It clicked for her. She came to a saving grace of Salvation and was baptized several months ago. As for Mr. Smith, he has wanted nothing to do with the “whole church thing” even though he enjoyed our sports program and what we provided for his kids. Several weeks ago, I saw him slip into the back of our second service, after telling me I would never see him here for Worship. Do I know where he stands with God? No, I could only assume. But I know this- it is not my job to make sure I see the harvest all the time, just my job to make sure I am faithful in planting the seed of truth.
During the stressfulness of going back and forth and traveling the county for ball fields (we dont have our own on the church property), it seems I get more worn out and distracted then normal. Yet, God wanted to remind me. It is my job to be faithful to His calling and command to make disciples. However, it is not always my job to see them come to a complete understanding and salvation in Him. What a blessing! Tears of joy, tears of shame of letting my pride get in the way, tears of watching a new life come into the Book of Life- they flooded my eyes that day as I watched Mrs Smith come up from the waters! I was reminded for all the stress, programing and moments I feel are just simply getting no where- God is ALWAYS using them to get somewhere!