support teams

The Ministry of Watching Football

“What do I love to do?” the young man asked. He opened his palms upward and shrugged his shoulders. With a laugh he said, “I love to watch football.” Others in the room laughed with him.

watching footballThe man had responded to a question I’d asked a couple of months ago while I was in Tuscaloosa. I’d been invited to talk about the Support Team Network at a large, active church. One of the principles we preach here at the STN is that volunteers who participate on Support Teams should always do what they love to do. I’d asked people to tell the group what they loved to do. One person had said she loved to cook. Another said that he loved to do yard work. It was easy for me to use those folks as examples of activities that could make a Support Team really useful to someone convalescing at home. For a moment, I was stumped.

But then a woman across the room spoke up. She pointed at the young man and said, “Well . . . I could use you. I have a friend convalescing at home who likes to watch football, too, and his care giver – his wife – can’t stand to watch football. If you’d go and sit with him and watch the games with him, she could get a break! It’d give her a chance to get out of the house.”

“Oh,” said the young man. All over the room, people were nodding their heads. After the hour had passed and I prepared to depart, the young man thanked me for coming and said, “I never thought that loving to watch football could actually be a service to someone.”

It drove home an important point. Just about anyone can employ what they love to do to bring care to a family facing a health care challenge. Indeed, who would have thought that watching football could be of service? I’m thankful for the woman in the room who evidently had the skill of thinking outside the box. She challenged me to expand my thinking.

Really – whatever you like to do, has the potential to bless and aid healing for someone in need.  All you have to do is do a little thinking outside the box!

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