by Rob Globke

    This is another post to help equip you to share the Love of Christ in the game of hockey. If you haven't read any of our "tips for sharing Christ" articles, we encourage you to take the time to read those when you get a chance.

    When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    Today, we are going to talk about PRACTICE. I once had a coach who used to say practice makes perfect. Now, I agree with the concept, but don't fully agree with the accuracy of this statement. We are all humans who will eventually fall short (Rom. 3:23). No matter how many times you practice reading the Bible, you will not be a perfect Bible reader...although, it would be nice! No matter how much you practice being honest, you will never be a perfectly honest person. Et cetera and so forth. All of this aside, the spirit of this statement - The importance of practice - is something worth thinking about.

    When I look back over my life as a hockey player, I realize I spent more time on the ice in practice vs. time on the ice during games. 

    Let's look at the average NHL Practice v. Game Calculations

    The average NHLer plays roughly 15 minutes in a game. Yes, 15 minutes! Think of all the time in practice they spent preparing for those 15 minutes. When you add it up over the course of a year (82 games), you end up with 1230 minutes. There are 1440 minutes in a single day. So, you have an NHL player who doesn't even play a full day's worth of hockey over the entire year.

    Now, let's say that same player conservatively practices 1 time for every game for 60 minutes (we all know there is more practice time than this....but we are making a point here :-)). When added all together you get 4920 minutes of practice time. This is 4 times as much or 4 days worth of practicing.

    So what is the point of all these facts and figures?

    The point is that hockey players, like any other athlete, spend much more time practicing than playing. This is a tremendous lesson when we think about sharing our faith with others. We don't think twice about practicing and preparing for a hockey game. We all know it's something you do to be ready. For many who want to play their best come game time, practice is actually a highly valued resource.

    The Real Question

    How much time do we spend practicing or preparing to share our faith with those around us? I know I don't spend nearly as much time in practice of this over other areas of my life. Yet, sharing your faith in Christ with another person is so much more valuable. I need to do a better job in preparation, you need to do a better job in preparation, we all need to do a better job of being ready to give an answer to the faith that we have.
    In closing, I thought it would be good to provide a quick list of ideas to help you prepare yourself for "game time" and get you thinking about how you can prepare yourself to give an answer to the hope you have.
    • Grab a pen and a sheet of paper and write out what God has done in your life and why it's important. Writing out our thoughts helps us to clarify and think through them better.
    • Spend 30 minutes a week to study, learn, memorize scripture which will help you explain the basics of your faith. Google the "Romans Road" as a good place to start with some verses.
    • Grab a mirror and practice speaking to somebody. What will you say as an introduction? What verses will you share? Will you tell them your story?
    • Get a group of friends and practice sharing together. Sometimes it's good to get feedback and ideas from other people on things.
    This is just a short list of things you can do to start the practice of sharing your faith. Remember, nobody is perfect, but that doesn't mean we can't work hard to become whatever we are trying to do.

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