Most folks at Tri-State Fellowship know that I am a big fan of baseball and the Baltimore Orioles, and many know that I write occasional articles for a sports network on a site called BirdsWatcher.com. It has been a great year for the Birds and a lot of fun to follow this team and write about them.
The Orioles have a new young player who is one of the most highly regarded prospects in all of professional baseball. His name is Manny Machado, and at age 20 he was brought up from the minors to finish the last 50 games or so with the major league team. Though drafted as a shortstop, he has played 3rd base for the Orioles, since that was the greater need.
Many people are comparing Machado to the famous Yankees shortstop turned 3rd baseman – Alex Rodriquez. Both are from Florida, and both are similar body types with similar advanced skills at a young age.
Prior to Rodriquez, the man who changed the shortstop position in baseball forever was a Marylander named Cal Ripken. He broke the prior mold of shortstops being little guys with good hands for defense, but also small skills at bat. Ripken proved that a big and strong power hitter could also fill the position defensively.
When Rodriquez broke into baseball, Cal Ripken mentored him in the off season and in various ways. Now, Rodriquez has done the same for Machado – working out together over the winter in Florida. In fact, Ripken has commented that he has heard Machado talk about things in ways that he remembered teaching Alex years ago.
What does this have to do with anything spiritual, and why did I write this for our church newsletter? I include it as a perfect illustration of the Apostle Paul’s teaching in 2 Timothy 2:2 … “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
This is the essence of what our teaching is to be about – discipling generations of followers of Christ. This is our motto and purpose as a church. This is why we talk about generations and multi-generational ministry all the time. It is the main idea.
If Chris Wiles was to be called away for the next 50 years to be the pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in California, he should be able to come back at age 80 in 2062 and hear the essential teachings that he is presenting now being echoed down the corridors of time to that day.
Are you passing it on? Are you teaching the skills, the craft, the fundamentals of your faith to younger ones around you?