stories and strategy (great baseball teams & great college ministries #2)

Yesterday, I started posting why the 2010 Texas Rangers might make a really great college ministry. As all of us here in Dallas look forward to Game 1 tonight, here are two more reasons… and don’t be surprised if you hear about some of this from the announcers this week.

2. Good stories

One ingredient that would make the Texas Rangers a cool campus ministry is some really great personal stories. Hopefully you’re well familiar with Josh Hamilton’s spiritual testimony; it’s available for all the world (and your college students) to see at I Am Second.

But there’s also reliever Alexi Ogando, who had a long, painful road to baseball after being caught up in a fake-marriage / sex trafficking scam in his native Dominican Republic. You can read that story here.

Colby Lewis, who won two games over the Yankees last week, has a neat story of disillusionment, Japan, and baseball-redemption, too.

And I could go on.

The point is: Great stories (we often call them “testimonies”) make for great college ministries. Of course, when it comes to our ministries, I moreso mean the spiritual kind. But this is a metaphor, remember.

3. Strategy

Another reason the Rangers would make a great college ministry is that they don’t believe that games are won only in the games.

Read that again.

But for many college ministries, this philosophy would require a monumental shift.

The “talk of the town” around here includes General Manager Jon Daniels and the rest of the Rangers “front office” staff. For years they have purposely built a team, and the fruits can (finally) be seen this year. They employed a multi-year strategy – which along the way meant things like:

  • caring deeply about nurturing not just present players but upcoming players
  • building a strong “farm system” – making sure lots of guys are being raised up to play in the big leagues someday
  • thinking systematically and longitudinally about success
  • balancing success on the field now with working toward greater success later
  • and even making moves that hurt the team in the short term but fit the long term strategy

Any of those three things can be (and should be) applied to college ministry.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say this: If we’re not working strategically and longitudinally, then our college ministries aren’t as good as they could have been. If we’re only “pursuing the win” in the game presently on the field, we aren’t going to be as impactful next year or next decade as we might have been.

It’s just one more reason these Rangers would make a pretty super college ministry.

[Post #3 in the series is next!]


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  1. Pingback: you should be more like this guy « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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