Giving Time Impacts Lives
By Mike McClure
We see opportunities to live out our faith and serve at Prince of Peace every week. In the Tools each week, there are calls for volunteers at Mission Outpost, for small group leaders in Family Ministry, for the Mega Sale, and lots of other volunteering options.
There are other ways that we can be Christ’s shining light in our communities outside of Prince of Peace, though. Many of these opportunities are ones that many of us do not think of as “church” volunteering.
So how do I volunteer outside the walls of Prince of Peace? This past summer, I coached my son Ryan’s 11-year-old baseball team. I know most of you would not normally connect coaching baseball with serving God. I invite you to see things through my eyes.
I had two players on this year’s team that have no father figure in their lives at all. None. Zero. It is hard for me to imagine a young boy growing up without a father. My own father taught me how to throw and hit a baseball, but more importantly he instilled in me a value system that remains a part of my personal foundation today. I like to think that the attention that I paid to these two players in particular helped them in both of these ways. If you had been walking by the Eastview batting cages this spring, you might have thought that I was just throwing them batting practice in the hitting cages and offering advice on how they could hit the ball better. Yes, I was doing that. But it was so much more than that. I was offering support and encouragement to them, which they did not receive on a regular basis from a male role model in their lives. This is showing Christ’s love to others just like it is when we provide food to the hungry. It is just a different type of food.
As a coach, I am also a role model. Players often react to situations based upon how their coach reacts. Knowing this, I treat every opposing coach, umpire, and team parent how I would want to be treated. I do not scream at umpires when I disagree with their calls, even if they are wrong. By doing this, I hope I am teaching these players something about character and how to treat and love others.
So whether you are stepping up to coach a sports team, leading a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop, or volunteering in your child’s school, remember that you, too, can greatly influence the lives of the next generation.