10.23.2013

Moneyball for the Church

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Though I didn't have much time to watch my beloved A's this year, it sure made me happy to see them follow up their magical 2012 season with an equally impressive 2013 season.  And with back-to-back positive seasons comes the prospect for continued progress into the future.  I am hopeful.

As I follow the success of these "who are these guys" players, I cannot help but draw a few lessons for the modern church and for the little sliver of it represented by the congregation I am a part of.  Consider that we are now in Moneyball 3.0:

1.0. Where it all started was finding players who, regardless of their physical appearance and past success, could draw walks and make pitchers throw more pitches.  Not only does this get you on base, it attrites the other team's best pitchers and gives easier opportunities to your teammates (either from wearier pitchers or their newer and not as good replacements).  We can similarly bear burdens with and for our fellow brothers and sisters and in doing so lighten their loads.

2.0. Once everyone caught up to the importance of getting on base, the A's then pivoted to team defense.  Lacking the headline stats of pitching and hitting, good defenders were often undervalued in the market, but their ability to turn more plays into outs made pitchers last longer into games.  So can our love in the church cover a multitude of sins and help our fellow congregants endure.

3.0. The current iteration of the A's system appears to be the platooning of part-time players.  Two part-time players are cheaper than one full-time player, having lots of players who can contribute at multiple positions hedges you against injury, and having the left-right advantage in hitting allows players to be better than if they played all the time.  Of course, it takes a sublimation of ego to be a part-time player, as it requires humility to step aside and let someone else do something that we think we ought to. 

I'm sure there's more here but that's all I got for now.  Keep an eye out for those upstart and no-name A's.  And keep an eye out for the church, too.


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