Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Church Basketball Tournament

Disciple Making Authority

As a believer, you have the authority of Jesus to make disciples.  And so do I.  But both of us are highly prone to forget this, instead receding into ‘niceness’, hoping people will guess we’re Christians and ask us if they can be one too.

But this past weekend, I got asked by the local pastor’s association to serve as a referee for the annual inter-church basketball tournament.  The referee’s whistle was a new experience of authority to me.  I’ve always loved playing basketball, but never ‘judged’ many games before.  That’s the word they use for referee in Mongolian.

From 12 churches, 13 teams competed for about 13 hours!  The seats were full of excited spectators, mores that most of the tournaments I’ve seen here before.  The players were also pretty excited and got a little over-zealous a few times.  I had to separate a couple guys who looked like they forgot they were believers for a minute.  One of them still looked angry, so I called him over to me.  He didn’t hear me.  

But his pastor was right beside me playing on his team and wanting to inbound the ball.  I didn’t need to blow the whistle again because his own pastor’s voice got to him through the roar and distance of the gym.  He came trotting over to us.  His pastor said, “you need to ask forgiveness”.  Silence.  I took the whistle out of my mouth and said, “just say the word OK” and we’ll play ball.  “Za” he said, which means okay.  I blew the whistle, handed the ball to his pastor, and away we went.  No more problems or fist to cuffs.  

This was a discipleship moment may not have happened had the whistle reminded us both of our authority to make disciples.  

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