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John Wooden, the successful basketball coach at UCLA for many years, can teach us something about pastoring.
When Wooden began his "ministry" of coaching, he won a national championship with a team whose tallest member was only six feet five inches. He had a fast-guard offense, a high post, and a lot of backdoor plays and quick screens. Wooden kept his players moving all over the court.
Then he was fortunate enough to recruit a couple of seven-foot centers, so he totally changed his system. He went to a low-post and strong-forward system. And he kept winning championships.
For Wooden, the goal was to win, not to run a particular offense. He changed to incorporate the gifts of his players.
Pastoral ministry demands similar flexibility. If Wooden was a pastor, he wouldn't insist on preaching the same way everywhere. He wouldn't try to run the same church program in every context. Pastors need to understand the environment in ...1