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Mimicry & Ministry

During the recent Wimbledon Championships, US Davis Cup captain Jim Courier made a fascinating point.

Courier told his television audience that Bulgaria’s Grigor Dmitrov has patterned his game after Roger Federer

Here’s what Courier means.

Federer’s Serve:


Dmitrov’s Serve:


Federer’s Forehand:

Dmitrov’s Forehand:

Federer’s Backhand:

Dmitrov’s Backhand:

Uncanny, isn’t it?  Note that even the racket is identical.

Now: you could say that a tennis player couldn’t possibly choose a better role model than Roger Federer.  And you’d be right.

However, Courier made a terrific point on the broadcast:  “I’ve never seen a champion who just mimicked someone else.  At some point you’ve got to develop your own style.”

Painful (if you’re Grigor Dmitrov) but true.

And then I realized the same is true of ministry.  The more a pastor tries to be a replica of Celebrity Preacher Who’s Hot and the more a church tries to adopt the Latest Church Model, the less authentic the whole experience becomes.

I know it because I’ve tried it.

It’s much better to develop your own style and let God magnify that for his glory.

Whether it’s on the court or in the sanctuary.

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