by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

What's a Preacher To Do? (1 of 4)
Series: Making The Church Go
Jeff Strite
I Timothy 4:1-16

There's an old saying: ''The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.''
We'll come back to that in a moment.

Back in the 1990's the Indianapolis Pacers Basketball Team had been struggling for more than a decade to be a contender in the NBA. With the exception of a couple of years, most of their seasons were lackluster with the team unable to win even half of their games.

Eventually, after firing another coach, they hired a famous basketball player with no coaching experience: Larry Bird.

He took over a team suffering from sluggishness and injuries - and in his 3 years of coaching the team consistently made them a team capable of winning about twice as many games as they lost. Two years they made it to their divisional finals, and his last year as coach saw the Pacers make it all two consecutive Central Division titles in 1999 and 2000, and a berth in the NBA finals in 2000.

Various explanations could explain why the Pacers struggled for all those years, but I'm inclinded to believe that part of the problem could be summed up in the story of a player the team called Roger Rim Shot.

At thirty nine years old Roger was the oldest member of the team. In his long career with the Pacers, he had scored a grand total of two points. During a game in his 5th year with the team, the Pacers were leading by 20 points, there was one second left to play in the 4th quarter and somehow Roger was fouled. He took his foul shots and made both of them.

With those numbers, you might ask how he managed to stay on the team.

Well, it seems that Roger's uncle Phil had a major food franchise in the arena, and that he also sponsored the team with $15,000 per season. The sponsorship not only gave the Pacers a revenue source, it also came with the stipulation that Roger would always have a place to play on the NBA team. If Roger left for any other reason t ...

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