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Category: General / Topics: Basketball Metaphors, Life Lessons Optimal Aging Politics Sports

March Madness

by Wes Wick

Posted: April 3, 2016

Lessons from the rituals of brackets and primary elections…

Have we all gone mad? Each year the NCAA delivers March Madness to America through the game of basketball. Earlier first­round upsets and more recent come­frombehind victories ushered in new levels of madness as winning teams now move on to the Final Four.

And, of course, in this media­frenzied presidential election year, it seems like every Tuesday has a Super prefix. Madness can just as easily describe our political climate. Everybody seems mad about something, and presidential candidates have tapped into the madness.

Between now and the November election, Ms. Clinton will turn 69, Mr. Trump 70, and Mr. Sanders 75.

Hillary, Donald and Bernie—three of the five final top contenders for president— are competing past the ripe age of 68. So much for our perception that America doesn't support the serving potential of older adults!

While hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in this trio of older presidential candidates, many churches sadly fail to capitalize on the serving potential of capable older adults sitting in their pews.

In spite of glaring examples to the contrary, we act as though adults over 68 almost universally want to retire, travel and fade comfortably into the sunset. We expect little beyond their tithes. And, yes, we sometimes encounter stiff resistance when trying to open older hearts to higher expectations. It goes both ways.

Let's return quickly to the more playful subject of basketball, adding a couple courtside reflections related to second half adult ministry.

The second half is often special and the most exciting. It's not enough to compete well in just the first half. Many games are decided in the closing minutes of the game. Let's perk up and move to the edge of our seats, and see what God will do with adults in life's second half. The game is far from over.

Finally, have you noticed how a full court press demands buy­in from every defensive player on the court? At YES! we see the need for all generations to share in inspiring each generation. Without the support of the whole team, a full court press breaks down quickly.

We need all five generations showing concern for seasoned adults, and these adults need to spread their special seasoning to every generation. We come up short (literally, vertically challenged) when each generation fends for themselves. Horizontal, peer relationships are important, but they are just one part of God's overall game plan for us.

Allow this final buzzer three­point shot to sink in as the closing minutes of March swirl around us:

  1. Let's value older adult potential within our churches—not just in presidential politics!
  2. Let's treat the second half like it really matters—not just in basketball!
  3. Let's engage a full court press—with help from all generations!

Wes, with his wife Judy, are founders and directors of YES! - Young Enough to Serve, an interdenominational ministry that exists to help churches and ministries engage the serving and disciple-making potential of adults--from fifty to a hundred-plus. Before founding YES!, Wes and Judy were engaged in church ministry, college administration, and consulting.

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Posted: April 3, 2016   Accessed 170 times

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