A Minute with Mark – Put me in, coach

images (1)Do you like sports movies? What’s your favorite one? Mine is “Hoosiers” – great story, David vs. Goliath, redemption, second chances, basketball played below the rim like I remembered playing, fundamentals … no ESPN, no shattering the backboard with thundering dunks, no tweets from hot shots with over-sized egos.

Another great sports movie featured Denzel Washington as the coach of an integrated high school football team in “Remember the Titans” … a team that could have exploded with all the racial tension of the day but found a way to come together for a common goal.

There’s a scene in the film that has stayed with me. A white kid used to playing all the time finds himself outclassed by a faster, more skilled opponent. Beaten on a number of plays, he  runs over to the coach and tells him the truth. “I can’t stay with that guy. Put Petey in.” Petey is a black kid who has been sulking on the sidelines. Blessed with great talent, he’s having to wait his turn. If you know the story, you know Petey gets his chance and good things start happening.

This past Sunday, we looked at the story of Barnabas, a guy who recognized the talent in others and was willing to step aside. In his case, he stood aside for a guy named Saul (later known as Paul). When these two men first hooked up, they were always listed with Barnabas first. Over time, their positions switched. It became “Paul and Barnabas.”

It takes a big person to step aside, to see the ability in someone else, to affirm that ability even when it means you have to move from first to second chair. Saul was a little like Petey – he spent some time pouting, wondering if he would ever get his chance. Thanks to Barnabas, he did. Is there someone in your life who needs to be noticed, to be called out, to be affirmed? Look around. Good things can start happening, even if you’re not first string!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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