The (late) Reverend Ken McDowell was taking the seminar and looked across the room where thirty or so seminarians were seated from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Salvation Army, Presbyterians, Uniting and Churches of Christ theological colleges and remarked how astonishing it was how God raises up another generation.
M V Tronson often ponders upon those words every time a new generation of Australian cricketers come into the system. Not only did he witness five generational changes in his seventeen years as the Australian Cricket Team Chaplain to 2000, over the past ten years in his Life After Cricket ministry he's been aware of so many who have moved on from the Australian Test arena.
Likewise, he's witnessed two generations of those ministering in sports ministry having pioneered the Sports and Leisure Ministry (SLM) over his 18 years tenure and is now aware that a higher turn over has occurred in these past 10 years as more and more lay personnel are coming into the sports ministry system.
M V Tronson has been pondering upon the nature of generational change. Ten years on since he and his wife Delma were released by Heads of Churches to establish Well-Being Australia which largely focuses on athlete respite, he's had the privilege of watching a number of the younger sports ministry personnel he mentored.
He rejects the common misconception, heard in both cricket and sports chaplaincy circles, that it was less difficult for the previous generation. This is blatantly false. Each 'new guard' faces issues unique to its own era.
As transitions occur in Cricket, so too, M V Tronson says, they occur in Christian ministry, and are particularly noticeable in highly specialised areas ranging from chaplaincy itself to say, professional sport. Philosophically, the hallmarks of changing the baton are similar whenever and wherever new 'players' begin their own regime under changed administrative systems.
He recalls a sports ministry seminar, where John Woods the Canberra Raiders chaplain, explained how he didn't have a handbook critiquing the intricacies of engaging in a ministry to professional athletes.
However, in pioneering Australian sports ministry, M V Tronson has been able to bring to light a number of fascinating revelations. He comments:
"First, no two professional sports organisations are the same, even if they happen to be in the same sporting code. Each is unique with differing philosophies, management styles and with 'living' legends.
"Second, he noticed the chaplain was never to be seen as a threat because they were independent of the process of sport. He/she do not compete and wasn't chasing a field position and conversely, athletes had no interest in being a member of clergy.
"Third, ignorance can be a blessing. Coaches don't want an assistant coach disguised as a chaplain; and administrators can be assisted greatly by someone who is outside the encumbrance of the historical furniture.
Although it is fascinating to observe a new generation of cricketers, M V Tronson, as a Christian minister, sees more significance in eternal consequences.
A mentor of M V Tronson is Reverend Peter Thomson of Melbourne, who was sports ministry chairman for seven years in the mid nineties. He was a past Timbertop Headmaster, a chaplain and a friend to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He touched Mark Tronson's heart with many an incisive comment, one of which was the joy to observe God's handiwork from a distance as another generation takes on this 'Great Commission'.
M V Tronson says he is rejoicing in the ministry challenge of the next generation whom he personally mentored, just as those in the cricketing world rejoice in the sporting challenges of young cricketers whom they have mentored.