I am sure that most of us at some point have heard or even used the saying “Many Hands Make Light Work.” The longer that I serve Jesus the more I realize the blessing of Jesus’ followers working together to do ministry.
It has been an incredible week for me. It just so happens that this week we put on our 13th Annual CLEAT Soccer Camp. It is hard to believe how the camp has developed over the last 13 years. It all began prior to our first camp in 2004 with a desire to reach kids in our community that did not attend church. I would like to share some insights as I ponder these past 13 years.
First, our soccer camp is the result of the investment of many different individuals. This is true for each year’s camp that have around 50 people from our church and community engaged. It is also true of past years. I want to say Thank You to those that have served as the camp directors and there are also those that donate, prepare and serve the snacks. A camp this size requires a significant effort behind the scenes in mailer design and distribution, promotional literature along with registration and finances. There is also a vast army of coaches that volunteer during the week to work with all the players. We have also been blessed for the last eight years or so to have partnered with coaches from Christian colleges that have sent representatives from their college teams to help with the camp. We don’t want to forget our families that host the college students and those that provide meals for the team. It is really an incredible effort that the Lord uses to touch everyone involved from the players and their families to the volunteers.
Second, I have already alluded to this but it needs to be stated. Ministry is work. My rough calculation of hours invested over the last 12 years is way in excess of 20,000 man hours. This reflected an average of over 1,500 man hour each year! This almost works out to be a work week of 40 hours for the 50 people involved. Let me say it is a blast, but it is also hard work. I know that I am spent by the end of the week. I am sure that many of our team is saying TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday). And yet they are the first to volunteer and step forward for next year. There is something very fulfilling about serving the Lord. Again to each of those that have served I say Thank You.
Third, there are the lives that are touched. Over the years is has not only been the soccer players that have been touched. A number of players each year pray to receive Jesus as their Savior and many others are strengthened to life out their faith through the testimony of the Christian coaches. There are also important discussions that take place with parents and grandparents. There is sharpening that takes place between the different people involved. There is even growth in the lives of the College students that comes each year to serve.
Just taking a few moments to ponder the events, decisions and conversations of the past week, I want to say “Thank You Lord!” I am also looking forward to next year, but after I get a chance to rest.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson