As we near the end of another wonderful and successful basketball season I’d like to echo the words of appreciation spoken by all during yesterday’s Celebration. There was a good crowd even though there were some teams with no coach and only one or two players present on their row. We will take steps in the future to personally notify families as we continue to be told that some coaches don’t encourage attendance as we have asked. Nevertheless, there was a great voice of thanks delivered from the stage, not only from Mrs. Rose and I, but by the players as they marched across the stage with their posters and cheered for their teams. Many of you who are not as visible during these events were thanked as well such as Prayer Partners, desk and Eval volunteers, youth helpers, and referees!! Our speaker was Coach Ronnie Cottrell who has a very impressive coaching resume with a State Championship, an SEC Championship, and a National Championship among his accomplishments. He is currently the Head Football Coach here in Mobile at Mobile Christian and is changing lives as he wins games.
Coach Cottrell spoke to players, coaches, and families as he stressed the importance of character and effort. He said that God expects us to do our best with the talents and gifts He has given us. He made one simple statement that really hit home when he said, “There are three things you can do in a game. You can play, you can coach, or you can referee, but, you can only do one thing at a time.” This fits in well with the message I’ve been sending each week. Our nature is often to try to “help” the referees from the bench by shouting, “that’s a foul!” or “three seconds!” etc. I was able to explain to those present how we are a developmental league and we try to let the young players play while still teaching rules and skills. These young ones will run into a crowd and fall or touch the ball with their non-dribble hand, or even move their pivot foot, and if our referees called every one of these there would be very little actual ball played. Of course we will not overlook anything flagrant and will not allow a violation that gives one team an advantage, but we hope coaches will help by talking to the players rather than the referees. Tell the players to dribble with one hand, hands straight up, get out of the lane, etc. We want the referees to do that as well. This is one of the advantages we try to create by having coaches referee games before or after their games. ALL of the children playing are yours and we want to make them all better. Instruct, correct, and call violations with the intent to teach.
Our response cards from the Celebration showed that 12 adults and 45 players accepted Christ during the season. 51 adults and 42 players indicated that they grew closer in their relationship with Christ during the season. One family said they are looking for a church home. This is evidence that you are ministering and mentoring. Ministry is difficult to quantify but these numbers are encouraging and point to the work the Holy Spirit is doing in your lives and in theirs. Philippians 2:12 tells us, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Spiritual growth begins with a decision. Each of you reading this have made that decision. Now, here at the end of the season, we are seeing the fruits of our labors!
Keep up the good work. If you do a good job this Saturday, I’ll give you the next one off J. Remember that baseball/softball is right around the corner. If you want to register a child or if you can help with coaching, please let us know soon! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the court!
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6