M V Tronson says the 'high ball' is a feature of cricket and while visiting the Australian Institute of Sport's Cricket Centre of Excellence in Brisbane he's noted the tuition, that when several fielders go for the 'high ball' catch.
We've all seen this scenario, the batsman skies the ball and two or three fielders merge for the catch, all eyes on the ball, sometimes not realising other fielders are there also.
From his own experience, M V Tronson noted that other team sports, also has this same problem. Field hockey for example, where two players on the same team can get tangled up vying for the ball, and in tennis too, where team mates leave the ball, thinking the other has it covered.
There are three essential ingredients involved both producing and avoiding such scenarios.
First, the players' eyes need to be on the ball;
Second, a call is made (sometimes by more than one of the athletes), and
Three, each team member somehow needs to know where the others are.
Herein lies the conundrum in sports: if all eyes are on the ball, players may be indifferent to where team compatriots are, and the end result will more than likely be an unhappy one.
Likewise, if a call is made by someone, but they in reality are not in the best position to take the catch, then again, the outcome may be disastrous for the team.
Yet it is imperative that players have their eyes on the ball, and that should they make a call, and have the momentum to attempt the play, they should go ahead. It takes extra skill to have 'eyes in the back of the head' to sense what the team-mates are doing in that split second.
These scenarios were all part of the discussions the cricket coaching staff and the young cricketers were engaging in, and M V Tronson couldn't help but consider those situations in the life of Christian ministry.
M V Tronson thinks that Christian ministry is particularly vulnerable to situations analogous to these sporting examples. To illustrate, he recounted a story where in the late '80s in Sydney a group of people were in the process of establishing themselves for ministry to the Entertainment industry.
Some significant ground work had been undertaken to build the trust of several people in television, the arts, the theatre, and the music world. A small conference meeting followed to allow the sown seeds to germinate.
As the meeting progressed, one participant sought to dominate. Claiming rock band experience and pastoral care involvement, he 'called' the shot. However, he did not have the theological depth and wisdom that was required 'to catch the ball', M V Tronson noted.
In this situation, others around him 'were aware of the positions of other players', and they exhibited wisdom and made the call themselves.
Whole denominations, as well as local congregations, find similar situations where a steady pastoral hand of wisdom deals with eager helpers. These eager beavers 'keep their eye on the ball' but have no idea on the wider implications or where others are involved. They make 'inappropriate calls' and usually create unwelcome attention.
"When one person or a group of people, regardless of the situation, seeks to dominate, when clearly another or others are better suited or equipped, then opportunities are missed, advantages are lost and relationships are broken. These affect the performance of the 'team' as a whole, " M V Tronson reflected.