Naomi Osaka and the game of ministry

Naomi Osaka, the globally recognized tennis champion, started playing tennis at the age of three, with her sister, coached by her father.  What a great start to her story, except for one thing:

Her father neither played tennis nor ever coached anyone in it.

Yes, you read that right.  And, like you, when I read this, I wondered… WTH was he thinking?

Well, what he was thinking was, literally, that he would figure out how Richard Williams (who also had never played tennis) coached his daughters Venus and Serena, and then copy his method to coach Naomi and her sister Mari.  He said, “the blueprint was already there. I just had to follow it.”

Now, at first, this sounds like an amazing story.  And, it is.  But, my point in bringing this up is that there’s a lesson about ministry in it that I think every minister needs to learn.  That lesson is a simple question:

Do you pastor people to become champion disciples?  If not, then what do the people to, for, and with whom you are a pastor become?

Honestly, it feels like the vast majority of “church people” are, in fact, recreational disciples – like their faith, discipleship, and church membership is kinda for fun.  Some of them, are super serious about it all and reach a zealot-level of religious passion, sure.

But, how many of them become champions?  Do you have a method, a blueprint for that?  And, what would that even look like in this day and age?

James from PASTORIA
Head of Guidance