Mark Affleck

Are You a 9-Tool Christian?

August 10, 2023
Spiritual Growth

I’ve always been fascinated by “5-Tool Players” in major league baseball. These are the superstars who exhibit the sport’s most important tools–Speed, Throwing, Fielding, Hit for Average, and Hit for Power. Think Willie Mays and Shohei Ohtani. In professional hockey the five tools are Skating, Shooting, Playmaking, Scoring and Defense. Think Wayne Gretzky. Basketball uses Scoring, Rebounding, Assists, Steals and Blocked Shots. Think Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. You get the idea.

That got me thinking about 5-TOOL CHRISTIANS and what might be on that list of attributes. Rick Warren’s PURPOSE DRIVEN model works very well as a comparative approach to what professional athletes use. Here it is: 1) Worship; 2) Fellowship; 3) Discipleship; 4) Ministry; and 5) Mission.

Another example that came to mind this morning was God’s nine FRUITS of the SPIRIT.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

My goal is to never forget that the Holy Spirit is an equal part of God’s Trinity. It’s why the fruits of his spirit are nine tools that can serve as an expression of who I am in Christ. I want to strive, for my entire life, to be a nine-tool Christian. But the starting point toward that goal is to recognize that it is NOT automatic.

Even though professional athletes were born with their gift, they diligently hone it, nurture it, activate it, and build on it…not just in training camp but every day, every week, every month, every year.

When we said yes to Jesus and surrendered our life to him, we were born anew into the Kingdom of God. As new believers, we were thereby infused with God’s Holy Spirit. But activating these fruits of God’s spirit in our life takes intention, commitment, and discipline.

Like the professional athletes born with their gift, BELIEVERS must do what the superstars of sport do—”diligently hone it, nurture it, activate it, and build on it…not just in training camp but every day, every week, every month, every year.”

Are you a nine-tool Christian?


“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship…” Romans 8:14-16

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