There are many lessons I learned as an athlete, many of which transferred well into venues beyond the playing field. I probably learned more by coaching than I did playing though. And, in some ways, I enjoyed coaching more than playing.
In fact, our first year in seminary, I would hear the band playing at the football field on Friday nights or drive by a full parking lot for a local basketball game and ask God, “are you sure you want me to give up teaching & coaching to be a pastor?”.
One of the lessons I learned as a player and tried to pass on as a coach was a simple principle in basketball. Being part of Big Blue Nation, I know we are all experts at everything on the hardwood, so bear with me on the simplicity of this point. In transition offense, you want to get the ball from the defensive end of the floor to the offensive end as quickly as possible.
And we all know that a pass is faster than a dribble (unless your John Wall or De’Aaron Fox), so the mantra I adopted with my players was, “Heads up. Eyes open!” Because if they were paying attention to their dribble instead of looking up the court for a teammate to pass the ball to, we would inevitably miss out on a great opportunity to score.
That principle applies to every person who attends church and who knows the truth of Jesus! While you’re not looking for an outlet pass or a quick layup, do you have your head up and your eyes open for that next invitation opportunity? It’s difficult to invite who we’re not looking to invite.
So, let me offer this challenge: this week walk through life with your head up and your eyes open. Who have you not met that you need to meet? Who can you invite to church on Sunday?
If they are already attending, who could you invite to experience life together with your LifeGroup? They may be new to the Vineyard or they may just not be involved yet.
In either case, they may also be a simple invitation away from getting involved in a group and experience a community of faith that can far reaching impact. With our heads down and eyes closed, we will inevitably miss out on a great opportunity to see Jesus do amazing things. But with our heads up and our eyes open, we are inviting Jesus to step into our groups and our lives to do what only He can–transform lives for not only the now but for eternity!
Know that I am praying for you and am grateful for your investment in our church. Heads up! Eyes open!