What’s It All About?

We believe there’s more to life than basketball.

It’s often been said that “sport is a reflection of life”: that the ups and downs, the adversities and what it takes to meet them head-on in sport, very much corresponds to what takes place in life. Legendary NBA Head Coach, Phil Jackson, once said: “Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball”.

Here at Lakeside, we believe that the development of the whole person is just as important as jump shots and slam-dunks. Lakeside Baptist Church owns and operates Lakeside Recreation Centre. Each week thousands of people move through the Centre to play basketball and other sports, work out at the gym and participate in other recreational activities. All our activities aim to provide a quality service in a friendly atmosphere.

However, what we endeavour to do as a Recreation Centre goes beyond the court. You may have wondered what our tagline — “Where it’s more than a game”, means.

In its simplest terms, it means that we value people beyond the competitions and results. Lakeside is a community that is endeavouring to enrich and cultivate a loving and supportive environment, a place where people can belong and be supported on their journey of life.

Still, “Where it’s more than a Game” is much more than that. Lakeside believe that there is more to life than the “here and now”. We care about you, life, and God.

You as a person.

Life as a journey.

God as the creator of both.

Everybody is looking for meaning and personal fulfilment in life, many people believe that this meaning and fulfilment can be found in things like sex, money, partying, relationships, possessions, academic achievement, career advancement — the list goes on. You name it, people have tried it in their search for meaning and fulfilment in life, but all the answers they find only bring temporary satisfaction. Where can real life be found?

At Lakeside, we try and help people grasp a couple of foundational understandings.

  1. That God loves us and wants us to enjoy a personal relationship with Him
  2. A relationship with God is possible
  3. God’s way of living really leads to life.

Many years ago, when my wife and I went to America, we spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. The hotel which we stayed at had Mike Tyson (former heavyweight boxing champion of the world) doing training sessions in the hotel foyer. He was huge; built like a tank. He would train for one hour then answer questions from the crowd.

Not long after seeing Mike Tyson train, I read an article about Mike’s spending sprees. In 2003, he was declared bankrupt and owed a stretch limo company $309,000. A year earlier, he had spent $174,000 on a white gold necklace with 80 carats of diamonds. He once splashed out $140,000 on two white Bengal tigers, and $1.5 million on four Bentleys in one afternoon.

The staff at Versace in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will never forget the time Tyson and his entourage left the shop with $250,000 worth of gear. In 2005, he owed creditors $30 million dollars.

In an interview after his final defeat Tyson said, “Who am I? What am I? I don’t even know. I’m just a dumb child who’s been abused and robbed by lawyers; I’m just a fool who thinks he’s someone”.

“Who am I? What am I? I don’t even know”. Mike Tyson wouldn’t be the only person to ever ask these questions before.

Our stories might not seem as dramatic, and they’re probably not splashed all over the TV or internet, but just like Mike, many people are lost, searching for direction.

American rock band, Talking Heads, sang a song called, “We’re on the road to nowhere.” I don’t know if you have ever heard it, but that song really sums up how a lot of people feel and the mindset they have. No direction — lost.

Have you ever felt like that?

2,000 years ago, this man named Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”.

Jesus claimed that He is the way: He is the one who offers clear direction through life’s maze (you might have been enjoying this article and now you’re thinking — Jesus? Really?). Sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out, but whether you believe those words of Jesus or not, it’s worth contemplating and asking the question, where am I going? What road am I on? Where do I look to find meaning and fulfilment in life?

This is what “Where it’s more than a Game” means. If you are interested in exploring those question further we would love to journey with you.

Anthony Palmieri
Senior Pastor