Field Report #1
Cultivating deep, intimate friendships with professional baseball players and helping them to become more like Jesus is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do.
* Originally published on June 17th 2022.
Relationships + Discipleship
If you don’t give people the real mission of your organization, they’ll define your organization’s mission for you.
One thing that we have noticed over the years is that people often have a hard time understanding exactly who we are and what we do as an organization. Many people tend to think that we are simply chaplains for MLB teams. Others have assumed that mission trips and baseball camps are what we do.
These are the ways that people often try to define our organization because these are the aspects of our work that are the easiest to explain and understand. However, this limited definition can result in…
Players falsely assuming that we are only focused on serving our specific MLB team.
Players failing to realize what we actually have to offer them.
Players feeling unsure on how to introduce us to other players.
These are unfortunate challenges because simply being defined as team chaplains or a mission trips organization actually misses the heart and soul of who we are and what we believe God has called us to do.
So who are we and what do we do?
We are a small ministry team of seven former professional baseball players who are devoting our lives to cultivating relationships with other professional players and helping them to…
to grow in their discipleship to Jesus and their love for others
to overcome cultural conformity and discover their true identity
and to resist isolation and connect with others in the game
This is achieved through a wide variety of means, and we are focused on all players, coaches and umpires throughout Major League Baseball and within every organization — not strictly on any particular team(s).
Currently we are engaging with players from almost every MLB organization and cultivating relationships with these players includes all sorts of things like…
weekly Bible Studies through Zoom together
leading Sunday chapel and team Bible Studies
local service projects together
trips to visit players on the road
golf outings together
eating and drinking together
planning offseason men’s retreats and mission trips together
premarital counseling, marriage counseling & parenting advice
helping guys with transition out of the game
helping guys connect with a local church
vacationing with players and their families
attending conferences and events together
Cultivating deep, intimate friendships with professional baseball players and helping them to become more like Jesus is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do (serving as chaplains and going on mission trips are just some of the means towards that end).
And so, here’s a simple way to define our organization…
Unlimited Potential is a small ministry team of seven former professional baseball players who are cultivating relationships with other players and helping them to follow Jesus.
Relationships with players and discipleship to Jesus are our focus.
And yet, because those things cannot be neatly defined as a specific type of program, service, or event, it can sometimes be difficult to explain what we do in a short, neat definition or mission statement.
Over the next few newsletters ("Field Reports"), we will explain more details on what this looks like and the meaning of the name, Unlimited Potential.
We believe that helping people to have a better understanding of who we are and what we do will result in more opportunities to help more players. So we encourage you to read these newsletters, respond with any questions that you might have and share these with others in the baseball community.
In this post-Covid world where our access to stadiums and clubhouses has been limited, we find ourselves relying more and more on the players themselves to tell their friends and teammates about who we are and what we do. It is more important than ever to make sure that we are understood and introduced in the easiest way possible.
We are former players helping other players follow Jesus — relationships and discipleship is what we do.
The 2022 season is off to a good start with each of our guys leading a variety of small groups, Bible Studies and one-on-one mentoring with players from several different teams. Despite limited access due to Covid protocols, most of our staff has been able to lead chapel and team Bible Studies as well.
With Tyler moving to Knoxville and taking over the chaplain role with the Tennessee Smokies, Luke has been able to shift his time towards serving as chaplain for the University of Tennessee baseball team. He’s been engaged with about 14 players there through weekly chapel and Bible Study and has a core group of guys that have been trying to pour into their teammates.
After 20 years of having our Easterball Camp in Italy, the last two years have been shutdown due to Covid. This year Simon was given permission to restart the camp if he could get 25 people to sign up. We ended up with 40 people attending the camp, and many of those campers were first time attenders. There were so many obstacles and reasons for Easterball to end, but Jesus clearly made a way when there was no way.
And lastly, in our effort to clarify who we are and what we do, we changed our Unlimited Potential logo and gave it a more simplified look. Thanks to the creative skills of our friend Jeremy Reiss, we have a new look and logo that better reflects our identity as a professional baseball ministry.
Tony and Nicole are continuing to transition after their recent move back east from Arizona to their new home in Pennsylvania. This move puts Tony in a strategic location where he is close to several MLB and MiLB cities, and Tony is serving as the chaplain for the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
What's On Deck
Mickey will be leading at Camp-of-the-Woods in New York, and Brian, Terry and Tyler are getting ready to serve at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Michigan. This will be the 22nd year that Unlimited Potential has served at Maranatha, and this year we will be joined by former players — Bill Curtis, Nick Hundley, Russ Ortiz and Steven Souza. They will be running a baseball camp for local kids each morning where they will teach baseball, play games and share personal testimonies of how Jesus has transformed their lives. This year they will also help lead the teaching time for the teenage program at the conference.
Some Books & Podcasts
Here’s a few things that we’ve been reading and listening to lately…
A series of talks given by Timothy Keller in 2019 where Dr. Keller spoke with a live gathering in New York City made up of attendees who did not identify as Christian and their Christian friends who invited them.
Tim Mackie and Jon Collins have in-depth conversations about the Bible, and this year they are slowly making their way through the Torah.
The latest book by John Mark Comer where he combines cultural analysis and discipleship to Jesus to unpack practically ways to resist the three enemies that sabotage our peace.
Your gracious support gives us the resources that we need to commit our lives to the work of helping professional players follow Jesus. Thank you for believing in us and for being a part of this unique mission.
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