Parable of the Modern Sports Pastor
One morning, Jesus woke up early to pray. His influence had been steadily growing and large crowds had followed him, and He needed some time alone to connect with His Father.
On the way up the mountain, His cell phone pinged. He had forty-three emails waiting for Him in His inbox. Jesus sighed, thinking, I’ll never be able to focus in prayer knowing I have this much waiting for me. I’ll hammer out a few of these real quick.
Several of the emails were from members of the crowd that had been following Him. One of them read, “Dear Jesus, I heard your devotional the other day, and I’m concerned about the part where you talked about eating your flesh and drinking your blood. Many people left the gym that day upset, and I don’t think they’re coming back. I want to encourage you to stick to the things that draw people in. We’ll never be able to be able to build the new sports complex God promised us if you offend people.”
Another was from Bartholomew, one of His disciples. There had been an argument among the disciples about who was the greatest, and Bartholomew was hurt by some of the things that were said. “Don’t tell anyone, because I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but can you please find me another team to play for?”, Bartholomew asked. Jesus typed a quick reply, assuring him that the tensions would blow over, and asked if he could grab coffee with Him on Friday. That was His day off to rest, but seeing that His calendar was already full that week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, it was His only option.
He skimmed over the titles of most of the emails and flagged fourteen of them to look at later, dropping them alongside the seventeen hundred other flagged emails in His inbox.
As He started to walk back up the mountain, He realized the sun had risen; the crowds had arrived for that day’s activities and were now pleading with Him to attend to their needs. Oh well, He thought. Maybe tomorrow. It was the fifth day in a row He had neglected to connect with His Father. He felt a little heavier than He had before, and somehow His mission had become a little less clear, but He figured, At least I’m doing ministry.
Adapted from the short Devotional: Parable of the Modern American Pastor. Click the link to download questions for deeper reflection.
About the Author: Wes Bryant is one of CSRM's associate staff, has spent 13 years in sports ministry and is the founder of Commission Leadership. As a transformational coach, Wes loves helping churches develop promising young leaders. Once a college baseball player, he has now turned his attention to the wonderful world of disc golf. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two young sons and is raising his boys to patiently endure the long suffering that comes with being a Chicago Bears fan.
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