Generation to Generation: Tim Duncan and Napoleon Dynamite

Our church family is in the midst of a giving campaign for our church property. The theme of the campaign is Generation to Generation. The emphasis is sharing stories of God’s goodness regarding the ministry of our church and the miracle of the land acquisition to the next generation.

One of the consistent mandates from the Lord is to raise the next generation to know and love Him. He told parents to teach their children in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul told Timothy to instruct men in matters of faith and works, thus raising up a generation of leaders.

Recently, I read an article by Chris Ballard about a recently retired basketball superstar named Tim Duncan. He was playing against a 7’1” rookie nicknamed, Napoleon Dynamite, who went on to a life of drugs and addiction. The article stated…

“Duncan never talks to opponents. And yet… ‘The ball’s going to the other side, get position,’

 Duncan continues.

The ball swings. Swift follows orders, shuffling his feet across the land, staying behind Duncan.

‘No, further up,’ Duncan says. Swift takes a half-step.

‘No, a little higher, don’t let me duck in on you.’ 

Swift complies.

‘All right, now come back,’ Duncan says, moving across the lane. ‘The ball’s about to be swung back, but it’s not coming to me this time so don’t worry about it. But now you know how to play it.’ 

With that, Duncan plays hard the rest of the game, but the moment sticks with Swift. He hopes to be that kind of veteran some day.”

A veteran helping a rookie. Great story. One of the hallmarks of Tim Duncan was his humility and selflessness. Perhaps, that’s what it takes to train up the next generation.

I was touched by the story. A sure Hall of Fame basketball player taking time in the heat of competition to train up a novice who was long on height and short on experience. It’s a great illustration of what should be going on in the church on a consistent basis in the midst of the rigors of living life.

Aside from parents training up their children, is there anyone from the next generation you are training up in faith and good works?

Something to think about…