Home > Discipleship > Baseball Evangelism: A Better Way to Witness

Baseball Evangelism: A Better Way to Witness

Baseball was one of my favorite sports when I was a kid.  I enjoyed hearing the crack of a bat, the smack of a hard line drive into a fielders glove and the heckling from the dugouts.  The game was a lot of fun. Like most young ball players, I liked batting more than anything.

I often imagined myself hitting grand slams, home runs and triples and I swung for the fences every time.  On the rare occasion that I made good contact with the ball, I could send it a decent distance into the outfield.  The problem was I struck out almost every at bat.

Swing for the Fences

I was so concerned with knocking the cover off the ball that I would take my eye off the pitch and come up empty.  I’m pretty sure I had more strikeouts than base hits.  My coaches would always tell me to get on base instead of trying to knock one out of the park, but I wouldn’t listen and my batting average suffered tremendously for it.

Changing our Approach

This approach doesn’t work in life any more than it does in baseball, but sadly this is how many of us have been taught to evangelize the world around us.  We were told to memorize gospel illustrations, to pack Bible tracks as thick as a deck of cards and to seal the deal with the “sinner’s prayer” at the end of every conversation.

As a result, this generation has grown accustomed to striking out at best or ruining witnessing opportunities altogether at worst.  The world around us has grown deaf to the door-to-door salesman version of evangelism and simply gives the cold shoulder when they smell a “Bible thumper” coming. I’m convinced that there’s a better way.

In baseball, the most successful batters are not those who swing for the fences.  They’re those who know how to get on base and move the runner along.  The ones who can make consistent contact with the ball, sending it to where the fielders are not.  The best batters are the ones who know when to sacrifice a home run swing for a bunt or a fly out to advance the runner.

Move the Runner Along

The same should be true for evangelism.  We don’t need to swing for the fences every time we get into a conversation with a non-believer. God will provide the “come to Jesus” moment when the time is right.  We don’t need to force it.  Instead, we can learn from the best athletes in baseball and learn to wait for our pitch and sacrifice fly instead of trying to drive every point home.

We’ll take the pressure off ourselves and be more effective in our evangelism efforts if we’ll focus on getting on base and moving the runner along.  Should we talk about Jesus? Yes! Is it important to win people to the faith? Absolutely! I’m convinced, however, that we’ll see more success if we focus on an ongoing spiritual dialogue and discipleship process instead of trying to get a decision right now.

Give yourself to the process.  Talk about Jesus as much as its relevant, but don’t get caught up in making someone convert.  Let the Lord work in their lives through relationship and watch what the Spirit does as God uses you to move them along their faith journey one conversation at a time.

Image via brooksbell.com

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  1. August 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    This is good, really appreciate it, based on Lutheran tradition though, I really do want this person to make a decision, it’s Christ who leads him/her and chooses and as a Lutheran, you do not get the gifts of Christ until you do decide to really “man up” and come to Jesus. You’re right, you can’t always be swinging for the fences, you do need to try and place your hits, move the runner along, but also be aware of when you get a marshmallow too.

  2. August 13, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    I agree. At one point or another every disciple will have made a decision (or lots of them) to follow Jesus. It’s just usually not going to happen the second sentence after your first “hello.”

  3. Roosevelt
    August 26, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    Howdy this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering
    if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I
    wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • August 26, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      To be honest, I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you use wordpress (like I do), there is no coding necessary. WordPress has pre-developed templates for you to use and they make the process of personalizing your blog very easy.

  4. August 26, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Awesome 🙂 The Lord has been speaking to my heart about this really strongly recently. God is good 🙂 It’s Him who overcomes ❤ Bless you! Thanks for liking my blog "A Guarded Heart"!

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