Taking It To The Hoop

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On Saturday, I went to see my nephew play basketball.

He’s in the 4th grade.

And he was the shortest kid on the basketball court.

Miles (that’s my nephew’s name) might be short, but he’s huge with confidence and swagger.

He’s straight up G.

Miles doesn’t just think he can play—he CAN play. The boy has some mad b-ball skills.

Basically, Miles and his teammate Juwan dominated.

They provided 100% of the offense for their team.

Their team had a tall kid who did some rebounding. They also had two other kids on their team who stood around looking scared and confused during the entire game.

Between Miles and Juwan, they scored about 34 points.

Their opponents made 3 shots during the game.

Pretty much a blow-out.

It was fun to watch (I spent more time laughing than I did clapping and cheering).

Watching 4th grade basketball made me think…

1. You don’t win by just playing defense—ya gotta take that ball to the hoop.

2. How amazing would my nephew’s team be if they had 5 guys out there actually playing the game together?

These two thoughts apply to the church as well…

1. We were never meant to take on a defensive posture in the world. We are called to take what we’ve been given into the world.

2. And how stinkin amazing would the church be if we actually showed up and worked together to make a difference in our city?

Jesus, before going to the cross, prayed for us. Here are some lines from that prayer:

I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe… Just as you sent me into the  world, I am sending them into the world. —John 17.15, 18 NLT

Then, after he went to the cross, died, and rose from the grave, Jesus met with the disciples before ascending into heaven. He gave them these instructions:

As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. —John 20.21

With this command, Jesus announced the game plan of the church—which is still in effect today. He proclaimed that we are sent. We’re not on the defense. We’re sent on mission into our world.

We are a people on mission for God. We’re showing up, working together, and taking it to the hoop. Swish! Dunk. Off the glass. Two points. Three—just before the buzzer!

We’re taking this Gospel—the Good News of what God has done to reach us—to our city.

We’re not taking a defensive posture, we’re taking it to the hoop.

We’re called to go public, not hide.

We are light IN the darkness.

Christians are often tempted to retreat, hide, isolate, keep to themselves, bunker down, and stay away from the world. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what we’ve been called to do.

We are a people on mission. We’re going in…

In a world full of hate, we bring love.

In a world full of darkness, we bring light.

In a world without hope, we bring it.

In a world full of hurt, we bring healing.

In a world full of confusion, we bring clarity.

In a world that solves its problems through force, we bring peace.

In a world full of bitterness, we bring forgiveness and reconciliation.

In a dog-eat-dog world full of looking out for #1, we bring kindness and compassion.

In a world torn and stained with sin, we bring Jesus—the one who restores.

Here’s what author Johnnie Moore, in his book Dirty God, has to say about this:

We have been given the mission of spreading the goodness of God everywhere. We are called to follow Jesus into this messy world and let grace heal it through our kindness.

God expects us to get our own hands dirty just as he dirtied his own. He wants to meet us—not in the sanctuary but in the slums.

God doesn’t save us so that we can soak in religion but so we can go out and spread his love to the masses. God’s not waiting for us at the altar—he’s waiting for us to take the altar to the streets.

Where hopelessness resides is where the rivers of grace are meant to flow most freely.

We are a people on mission for God. We’re showing up, working together, and taking it to the hoop.

We’re taking this Gospel—the Good News of what God has done to reach us—to our city.



straight up g for web

I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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