I was watching the Tampa Bay-Boston game last night before going to bed and found something really interesting during the game. No, not the fact that the Red Sox came back to win (should have never happened). It was about Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Early in the game, TBS showed a video clip of Maddon before the game going around the outfield speaking with his pitchers. The commentators said that Maddon does this before every game and rarely calls a player into his office because he is out “in their office” on a daily basis. The commentators went on to say that Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa also does this and calls this “sniffing around.” Maddon has a great rapport with his team, I’m guessing in large part because of his willingness to meet them where they are.
The Church should do a better job of this. I know there are churches who do, but most churches that I know expect that people come to them. Pastors expect congregation members and leaders to come to his/her office. We have an “if you build it, they will come” mentality about our worship services. What if Pastors and Christian leaders did more “sniffing around?” Instead of locking ourselves in our offices, we spend the bulk of our time meeting with people in their homes, the local coffee shop, athletic fields, and other places where people are comfortable. How much more would we learn about people? About the needs of our communities? About life outside the church?
On a totally seperate note: I’m wondering if Joe Maddon is what Rob Bell will look like in 20 years. Maddon certainly doesn’t look like a baseball guy when he’s not on the field. (Sorry for the old pic…the off the field pic looked most like Bell.)