It’s Time for Moneyball Church

May 29, 2015 by 0 Comments


Religion is notoriously behind on nearly every societal curve there’s ever been. some say that’s a good thing, as it’s supposed to be counter-cultural.

But there’s a difference between pandering to cultural trends and being tone-deaf or willfully ignorant. And as One of my old grade-school counselors once said: when you know better, do better.
If we look around us we know that there are better ways to employ the resources we have to affect positive social change, deepen discipleship and strengthen community of many kinds. But we adhere to mid-twentieth-century models and understandings of how the world works, then look around, asking ourselves why no one cares anymore.

It’s time for Moneyball church.

If you’re unfamiliar, “Moneyball” is the title of the bestselling book my Michael Lewis (one of my favorite authors) about how Billy Beane, a controversial (some said washed up) manager not only turned around the perennially mediocre Oakland A’s on a meager budget, but also revolutionized the entire sport of baseball in the process. He took a bunch of mid-level players (no stars among them), many of whom were out of shape and hardly the A-Rod material, and made playoff contenders out of them, year after year. And he did it with a faction of the salary of the teams he was beating.
Of course he lost players to those big dollar teams, but that’s the brilliance of the Moneyball model; he could do it over and over agin, with players almost no one else wanted.

How great would it be if we could learn from that within organized religion? And how might it look?



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