I played a friendly game of PIG (similar to the basketball shooting game of horse, but shorter) with one of the new kids, an 8 year-old boy, today. He is from the local neighborhood. Tonight was only his second week. We played three rounds. I won the first. He won the second. We played a cliff hanger third, with me squeaking it out. Fortunately for me, I finally started getting warmed up late in the game, recovering some of my youthful long-range accuracy. But that really didn’t matter. What mattered is that he thrived with the joy of having a grown up male spend meaningful time with him. I don’t know a lot about his background. I do know he is a young man with his whole life ahead of him, a life full of meaning and hope. Perhaps the moments spent doing ordinary things within a framework of godly community will have redemptive impact on his life. The friendly competition we enjoyed were more about heart connections, than about who won. I know, easy for me to say since I won the game. But believe me, he had me running scared for awhile with a couple of his shots from the corner of the free throw line. It was one of the moments which reminded me of why I chose to remain with children’s ministry for all of these years.