The Power of the Stay

February 07, 2012

A simple man passed into eternity last night following his struggle with cancer. His legacy however is less simple. His hallmark, a watershed of stability and consistency, was his ability to stay. More than that, I think. His life was a determination to stay. Jack Kerspilo.  I doubt that you will ever hear of  him unless you happen to be traveling through South-central Michigan and stumble across the High School gymnasium that bears his name. This community however, will not forget for a hundred years.

He is one of the last of his kind. The kind who coached and taught in order to give to a community. He ate at the local restaurants, knew the kids of his former players and the kids of the kids of former players. It was that he was here for nearly three full generations that made the impact. Everyone knew his flaws. Everyone knew his strengths. He stayed long enough. He created the culture of sport in a tiny Michigan town.

This is not meant to be the story of Jack's life. In the first place, I would not be the one to tell it. But I can apply the principles from a small piece of it.

Youth workers, pastors, business owners all seem to be in a constant searchlight vigil for the next new thing that will propel their businesses, churches or ministries forward. I am a career youth worker, and in an era where the average tenure of youth worker is a little over one and a half years, I would like to propose the secret of an impacting ministry. Stay.

Last. Endure, survive long enough to know and to be known. Pray that God will help you to bear with the people you are called to serve, and to blind them to your downsides long enough to become, theirs.

Thanks coach. That's a good lesson. 

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