So if you are like me, I am soaking in the latest installment of World Cup matches and of particular interest, the Netherlands match against Costa Rica. The whole tournament has been filled with lots of intrigue and upsets. For example, who would have seen the past champions Spain, getting knocked out of the tournament so early?
For me, there was an interesting moment in the Saturday game when in the last few minutes of extra time, the Dutch coach made a substitution that shocked many. Instead of a forward, or midfield player being changed earlier in the match, he changed his goalkeeper for one who had not seen any action (played in any match) throughout the entire tournament! Many commentators on this subject called his action brilliant where others claimed it could have failed big time and if it did, he would looked like a fool.
It was a huge risk.
But it begs the question, when did this change actually happen? Was it a predetermined outcome if the game had gone that far or was it a "change for the sake of change?"
Keep in mind that,
- this coach was new to the national club and brought along new ideas and philosophies.
- this also was an edition of a national team many analysts claimed would not do well this tournament.
- the Dutch had never won a World Cup match determined by penalty kick.
The Dutch have not won the tournament and may not win but they have given us some food for thought. Is there something to be learned in this sports metaphor for us in ministry? In youth ministry we need a game plan to help us navigate the tournaments and not just a match. Perhaps a balcony view for us to look at the big picture that will help us lead on the floor or the pitch.
How do you prepare for the tournament and how do you prepare for each match? When and how do we make changes?
Ephesians 5 says, "Be careful then how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."