Does It Matter If We Are On Or Off The Court?
Finding faith on and off the court.
By Nicole Grice
This is two of two in a two part post. We asked Nicole to share about her nontraditional approaches to being present in the lives of the students she is discipling.
High school basketball shouldn’t matter as much in an adult’s life as much as it does in mine. In the last 10 crazy years I have been a part of an amazing program in both our boys and girls basketball teams at Mason High school. My position is something that should be an easy show up for the game enter/click a couple things in a program and upload stats to our conference website; however I have made it much more.
Every Tuesday and Friday night during the months from December to fingers crossed late March you will find me with our boys basketball team and on Wednesday and Saturdays plus a couple of Mondays too you will find me with our Girls basketball team. That’s 4 sometimes 5 days out of the week that I am BLESSED to be around some amazing kids. I am known more as a momma bear to these kids than a statistician to them. I bake 4 dozen cookies and 2 dozen brownies for the kids every game, taking their gross warm ups before the game starts, I always have gum for them, have bandaids, phone chargers, and I make the seniors a prayer tie blanket at the end of the season, so no matter win or lose they will always hopefully always filled loved.
Within the first year or two of doing this job I started to realize it was very similar to what I was doing as a youth pastor. I was getting to know these kids life story, their joys and their pain, same as I was doing with my own youth kids. I continued to form relationships with them in hopes that they would see me not as a statistician but as a person they can go to for advice, for help and someone that was a safe person.
Through that relationship building and I think the cookies might have helped too I was able to show them God’s love in maybe a different way then everyone might be able to see. I have had so many great faith conversations with these kids because they know I am a youth pastor and some of their friends are even in my youth group. It is the relationship that allows the conversation of faith to happen and for the seed to be planted.
The journey of high school is crazy and the journey of faith is just as crazy like the game of basketball. Every shot and point counts, you have to have a supportive team to achieve, and you have to be able to defend what you believe. I hope my kids have been able to get that from having me as a part of their team cheering for them and keeping their stats. I hope that they know that Faith is crazy but that God is always going to be there for them because end all be all that what I hope my youth kids get from me as well.
Nicole serves as the Director of Youth at Mason United Methodist Church. She engages and connects with junior and senior high youth, their families, and the volunteer team. She is also very active at Mason High School and their sports programs.