Sitting on the Sidelines

This is another devo published through The Christian Pulse. Thanks to Suzy and her team at The Christian Pulse for giving me the opportunity to write for them each month!

Sitting on the Sidelines

Posted: 13 Jun 2013 02:00 AM PDT

By Mollie Bond  –

Sitting on the sidelines is where the ministry took place.

My friend, Leanna, went on a mission trip to Africa as part of the basketball team from a Christian college. They rode in a limo. They played basketball. They were on the national news where they visited. No street preaching, no dramas, no spontaneous worship. They played basketball. “Where’s the suffering for the gospel?” she wondered, “Where is the ministry?”

Leanna and her team visited a closed Muslim country, so some restrictions caused them to focus on what they came to do: play basketball. In the last game the refs were slightly against the Americans. Bad calls gave way to bad attitudes. Leanna was done trying to do ministry and played hard enough that she ended up on the sidelines. While sitting and internally grumbling, she listened to some of her teammates. They were upset, too. Their emotions didn’t come from hatred, but from wanting to play a fair game. The other team noticed.

A player from the other team, who happened to be sitting closest to an American named Tasha, said, “Why aren’t you guys more upset? Why are you not cursing? Why are you acting so nice?” Tasha explained that Jesus affected her team so much that they wanted to be gracious to everyone they met. Jesus had transformed they way they function, even in a game of basketball.

Leanna overheard this, and realized mission trips aren’t about accomplishing a mission. It’s not about saving so many people, or “doing” ministry. It’s about “being” ministry. She said “It’s important to keep in mind my identity in Christ because others are watching when you least expect it.” Ministry isn’t an action; it’s a state of being. Sitting on the sidelines is just as much a ministry as being in the game.

In Galatians 5:22, we’re given the fruits of the Spirit. Some people try to tackle these fruits, doing the work they think will bring ministry. Yet fruits don’t come from force. Hiding your life in Christ will bring fruit. Just like Leanna, who learned that sitting on the sidelines was a ministry to others, we need to sometimes take ourselves out of the game and let the fruit grow naturally.

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to produce fruit. I know that won’t come from me working harder, but from being with you so that it is a natural state of being. Please help me to see my ministry in my daily life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22 NIV).

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

I’ve been nominated for a blog award called the Sunshine Blogger Award by Jennifer Zeiger. Wow! So to properly accept the award, I’m required to share 10 bits of info about myself. Hmmm…

1) God is my everything.

2) I love visiting the country of Haiti.

3) I’ve fallen in love with the city of Chicago.

4) I have a black and white cat named Charlie.

5) Even though I live right on Lake Michigan, I’m not a water baby. I’m a mountain girl by choice. A knuckle-dragger, a snow bunny, whatever you prefer.

6) I am fond of writing, but somehow find good excuses not to sit down and do it like I should! 🙂

7) Usually I’m not writing because I found a good book as an excuse. Reading is essential for my well being.

8) I graduated with a BA in Radio-Television Production (minor in History) in 2005 from the University of Montana.

9) I graduated with an MBA in 2011 from Kansas Wesleyan University.

10) I hope to graduate with an Ed. D. in 2017 (if everything goes according to plan, enter maniacal laugh here).

Now to nominate 10 other bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others. 

1) Hope for Haiti: This blog keeps you up to date on what is going on with the organization Hope for Haiti that I am involved with.

2) Whitby Forum: Carolyn writes for women who have potential leadership skills.

3) Jeff Goins: He writes to encourage other writers. His book, Wrecked, rocked my world.

4) Jennifer Zeiger: I can’t get enough of her choose your own adventure blogs!

5) Kristina Cowan: I would like to be like Kristina when I grow up. As a professional editor/journalist, she has an amazing command of words.

6) A Whisper in the Whirlwind: Christy Brunke is just starting out her blog, keep an eye out world, here she comes!

7) All of It: Anthony Trendl is a fabulous writer, and a great source of encouragement for me.

8) Bible Love Notes: Gail is a very active blogger (one a day!), and has published some of my stuff in the past.

9) Abba’ndoned: Janet got me into writing in the first place.

10) Jon’s Thursday Thot: Jon is a friend and a co-worker, and never ceases to boggle the mind.

For those Nominated:

This is how it works:

  • Use the award logo in this post.
  • Link to the person who nominated you.
  • Write ten “pieces of information about myself.”
  • Nominate ten fellow bloggers ‘who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.’
  • Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them about the award.

Sometimes a simple act is all the encouragement needed. This nomination was such an act. Thank you again Tea with Flo.