Observing my grandson and his friends play softball is always interesting and entertaining. While playing the players often run to the wrong base or don't know what to do with the ball if they happen to catch it. If this were a professional game, these mistakes would not be funny.

It is perfectly alright for young athletes to struggle, not really knowing what to do or not getting everything exactly right. It is all a matter of maturity. They are simply attempting to learn. So as their mentors we coach them and patiently guide them toward maturity. We celebrate their success as later they play with skill as a team.

At times the same happens in the life of those who follow Jesus. Paul indicated that the church needs people who will "be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Eph 4:2). We also need a variety of "coaches" (pastors, teachers, spiritual mentors) to assist us in moving toward "unity in the faith" as we strive to "become mature".

The goal as we listen to preaching and teaching and enjoy life together in the church is to grow up to maturity in Christ. Each of us is on this journey, and we can encourage each other on the road to maturity in Jesus.