Small Ball

Small ball captures the role of the typical pastor.

Small ball is ordinary but it is basic. Regular time in prayer. Time and patience devoted to sermon preparation. Plotting and planning for ways to enfold the sheep in the work. Time spent with people, inside and outside the church family. The list is long and it isn’t flashy. But God uses it.


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7, NKJV)

The baseball season is almost upon us. Despite the scandals that stick to the sport like grease spots, it carries with it the appeal of athletic competition, fandom, and the arrival of spring.

It also carries with it different philosophies of coaching. There are those managers who swear by analytics. Others are more laid back. You might call them players’ coaches, relatable and intuitive. Yet others are known for their expertise and for winning. To my eye, the Philadelphia Phillies have a manager who embodies the best of all three, Joe Girardi. Hopes run high.

But the manager I’d like to highlight belongs to yesteryear. Earl Weaver was at the helm of the Baltimore Orioles in the days of Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer. He used to sing the praises of “Dr. Longball.” The good doctor was not the team physician. But he did cure many ills and send spirits soaring when the ball left the hitter’s bat and sailed over the outfield wall.

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