Anyone who knows me, knows that I love soccer! It is part of who I am. I am currently playing for the Columbia International University Lady Rams! It is all so exciting. As I barely survived preseason training, I reflected on what I learned. This is a brand new team. We have never played together. Our team consists of people from all over the world. We started from scratch. As I came into the first day of preseason a few weeks ago, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that soccer would teach me a few things about ministry.

1.Energy and Dedication go a long way!

Soccer is a lot of running. Running takes a lot of energy and dedication. There are multiple times in one game when I need to sprint at least thirty yards to get the ball and keep running to go to the goal. It sounds like a lot, but when you are doing something you love, it is a lot easier! Children’s ministry can be a lot sometimes, especially during the summer. With all the camps and events during the summer, energy can get low fast and it can be tempting to stop. But if there is one thing that soccer has taught me is that hard work, dedication, and energy pay off in the long run. With soccer, I will win the ball and get it to a teammate who could put it in the back of the net possibly winning the game. In ministry, you may be tired, worn out, exhausted; but when you muster up that energy for the kids, you can see it pays off. The kids get excited and are more likely to pay attention and learn something new. It’s always a little easier with God on your side and when you are doing something you love, like teaching kids about God!

2.What’s going to work? Teamwork!

Soccer is a team sport. Eleven players on each team are on the field at the same time. That’s eleven people working together for a common goal, to win the game. One person could not do it by themselves, not very well anyway. Ministry is similar. It’s a team effort. Ministry couldn’t happen effectively without volunteers. (A huge THANK YOU to all the children’s ministry volunteers out there!) When a group gets together with a common goal and work towards it together, much more will be accomplished. What is important, is that the team stick together. They don’t fight or bicker. They get along and love each other. On the field, that is when a team comes together effectively. If you watch two teams play each other and one team is yelling at each other and not getting along, they will most likely not play well together even if they have more talent. On the other hand, the team that may not be as good but gets along better, will most likely play very well together. Teamwork is very important in the world of ministry!

Have you learned something about ministry in an unsuspecting place? Always keep your eyes and ears open for life-lessons that can also improve your ministry!

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Emily has been serving in children's ministry consistently for over 4 years. She is currently enrolled at Columbia International University pursuing a degree in Church Ministry with a specialization in Children's Ministry. She also plays soccer for CIU. She has a passion for children to hear God's word and for them to know that He loves them.