Early Wynn pitched 23 seasons in the majors. He said this about opening day: “An opener is not like any other game. There’s that little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. You have that anxiety to get off to a good start. You know that when you win the first one, you can’t lose them all.”
For pastors, Easter Sunday feels an awful lot like opening day, doesn’t it? There’s the excitement of a full house and an expectant crowd. There’s the optimism that this may be the start of a wonderful new season for our church. And just like on opening day, pastors come hoping for a big win on Easter.
But let me challenge you to reconsider how you tally up your wins and losses on Easter Sunday because numbers don’t tell the whole story.
You can’t measure what really matters simply by the numbers on a box score. On opening day in 1947, Jackie Robinson went hitless, batting 0 for 3 with three ground outs. However, that was the day he made history by breaking the race barrier to become the first African American in major league baseball.
You can’t judge a player’s impact by what one day’s numbers show. And neither can you judge a pastor or a church by Sunday’s numbers. So, don’t play the numbers game. Just let eternity tell of spiritual barriers that were broken because you were faithful to show up and give your best.
Jackie Robinson just showed up, swung his bat, fielded first base and didn’t let his box score define him that day. As a result, his number 42 is the only number that has been universally retired by major league baseball.
Preacher, you don’t have to hit a home run. A lot of Sundays, I feel like I don’t make it on base. But just show up, preach about Jesus, love the people, and don’t let numbers define you. What really matters can’t always be quantified on a scorecard or a church profile form.