Last night was a historic night for one basketball team from New Jersey. The New Jersey Institute of Technology or NJIT Highlanders had owned the nation’s longest NCAA losing streak at 51 games. But they put together a performance for the ages and beat the Bryant Bulldogs at home 61-51. Not since 2007 had they won a game.
I can’t imagine going into a game with 51 straight losses. The players at N.J.I.T. may be quite skilled, but to get that losing mentality out of their minds must have been incredibly hard. Especially since no player on their team has even so much as tasted A single victory with the school.
I think it’s equally hard for churches who have seen losses in numbers to rebound and move forward in growth. Not simply because it IS hard for churches to do so, but breaking the mentality of a learned helplessness can be even harder.
Yet by being faithful in reaching out, loving its neighbors well, praying regularly, caring for and discipling its own, churches can take responsibility in doing what God calls them to do, while at the same time relax in God’s providence. That’s practical Calvinism: being responsible and relaxing. This ought to eliminate the fear of losing and allow the church to simply enjoy “playing the game.”