The Perfect Game

A Baseball Analogy for Christian Ministry




The most interesting and rarest baseball games are perfect games*. This is when a pitcher is able to pitch nine innings and keep 27 batters from getting on base. There are no hits, walks, or errors. In all of Major League Baseball history, this has happened only 23 times! 

At the beginning of time, God created everything perfectly. At the end of each day of creation, He pronounced it all good. People were made in God’s image and there was no sin. They could take walks with God, because everything was perfect. Sadly, as a result of Adam and Eve's sin, that perfection was damaged and people were separated from God. But thousands of years later, Jesus came to reconcile us to God, to make things right. Christ died on the cross in our place, so that we could walk with Him in heaven in His perfect holiness. 

Through God’s grace, mercy, strength, and perfect love, Christians are in the “game” of life, trusting Christ, growing in following Him faithfully in new, spiritual life. 

Consider these Bible verses:
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" Ephesians 4:17-24 .

"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" Colossians 3:9-11 (ESV). 

Christ’s desire and my hope and prayer for each of us is that we are all in the perfect walk, running home, striving for that perfection in and through Him. 

Copyright 2021 Mark Bryan
*My definition of a perfect game was condensed. Here is a fuller definition of the perfect game from Wikipedia: "A perfect game in baseball and softball occurs when a team is able to record all 27 outs without allowing any hits, runs or committing any errors. A perfect game will also require the pitcher, or combination of pitchers, to pitch a complete game without giving up a single walk. 

Note: The amount of outs required to achieve a perfect game in softball varies by league as some leagues play a different amount of innings. One factor that many leave out when explaining a perfect game, is the role of the umpires. Even they must be perfect. One bad call can ruin a perfect game." (As an umpire, I really like the last line of this definition.) 

Mark (and his wife Becky) are from the USA, but make their home in the province of Carinthia in Austria near Klagenfurt. They have worked especially with evangelical churches in Austria since 1971. Over the years, they have developed Bible-Lesson-Centered Craft Projects that have proven to be very valuable for ministry with children. Mark and Becky want to share these projects with others who do children's ministry. You can reach them at: marknbecky@aon.at.


Photo credit: Jose Francisco Morales @ unsplash.com


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