Advancing the Runners

We’re coming to the end of playoff season in Major League Baseball, and it’s been another good one. So far, there’s been one thing that has stood out to me above everything else, and it’s something that we can all learn from – even if you’re not a baseball fan.  So, hang with me and keep reading.

In one American League Division Series, the New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees had a great regular season, winning 100 games. Most of those wins were powered by a combined 267 home runs – the most by any team in Major League baseball. This was New York’s offensive philosophy: get somebody on base and wait for somebody else to hit a home run. And, in today’s game, that works.

But the playoffs are different.

In the playoffs, where you’re facing better pitching and a limited amount of games, you have to be able manufacture runs if you want to advance through the various rounds of the playoffs to the World Series. This means getting runners on base and advancing those runners around the bases through walks, stolen bases, bunts, and timely base hits.

That’s not what the Yankees do.

And if your home run hitters aren’t hitting home runs (which they didn’t), how are you going to score runs?

This is why the most valuable players on a team, in the playoffs, are those who can advance the runners by doing the things that often go unnoticed in the regular season.

Here’s my point:

While the “home run hitters” in any organization get the most attention, it’s the people who do the “little” things that keep the group’s goals advancing.

The same is true for the church.

The people who keep the church’s mission advancing by being willing to do the “mundane” things are the most valuable players on the team.

These are the people who serve without attention and fanfare. They visit others, send encouraging notes, pick up trash, fill communion trays, give out food and clothes, set up chairs, babysit kids, pray without ceasing, etc.

They do these things not to be noticed, but to serve as Jesus commanded and exemplified.

And because they do, the mission and message of Jesus advances.

Home runs are exciting, but never forget that you have to be able to hit singles if you want to win championships.

So if you’re not the “home run hitter” in your organization or in your church, remember that you can still be an extremely valuable part of the team by playing your position to the best of your ability.

As the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:16, “From him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it work.”

Do your part this week!


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