As I prepare to travel to our last regular season football game, and as I struggle with finalizing our plans for Game Day, I had one of those moments. The moments only those of us with lesser intellect and weak theology skills can have. I thought to my self, “what makes a football team good anyway?” I mean some of us are still not over John leaving, and really couldn’t wait for him to take his rightful place in the Football Hall of Fame as well as be named the greatest QB to ever play the game. They should have just over looked the waiting period when your that good. But is it really just one man that makes the game. Chew on this not so deep thought.
The Church should be like a great football team. Picture if you will a team that is always on defense. It’s that team that has the evil coach always barking out plays and throwing down his headset. And the players always dress in either black and yellow or silver and black. You get the point, kind of evil outfits. And they don’t really have faces, just glowing eyes deep in their dark helmets and steam coming from their face masks. Now picture a team that is always on offense. White uniforms, but not afraid to get them dirty. An owner smiling at his team from the sky box. A coach with a perfect play book and no need for a headset, calling in plays to a QB who sticks to the play, but has great field vision as well. Linemen who never miss a block or let through a blitz. Receivers running fast,precise patterns, eager to be thrown the ball. They run their pattern the same each time, sprinting the whole way, even if the play calls for a hand-off. And speaking about the running backs, they are a bit of a loose canon, but always manage to get the job done. Sometimes the two-hole is just not the best choice, so they roll wide to the four-hole. The linemen don’t like it much, but they are on the same team, and he did score, and running the ball isn’t their job, so they guess they will just let the coach handle it. The really cool thing is that this team always scores. And the defense can’t stop them. You see the defense is limited to only certain plays. Thats because the owner of the white team wrote the play book for them too. So the defense is always the same. The offensive play book is flawless, so it all comes down to the execution of the plays. Now…here is the parallel. God owns the team, even owns the stadium. He made all the rules of the game and wrote all the play books. He already knows the final score. He has given the devil limitations to his powers, and given Jesus power over everything. If the “plays” are executed according to the “book” they always produce a “score”. A senior pastor (QB) has a great feel for the vision God has for a church, but still needs the Bible to base that vision from. The linemen are the elders of a church, put in place to protect the person carrying the ball, at all costs. They must remember they are on the same team, and even when they don’t care much for that loose canon running-back (we will call him the youth pastor), they must remember that the score is for the team. And typically if they lead the play, the back will always go to the open hole. Sometimes you have those in your church ready to catch the ball and run with it. Even if the ball doesn’t come to them and even if they were open, they go back to the huddle ready to run another out pattern. Every once in a while the QB has to just hang on to the ball and run it in himself. For every “score”, the players get little stickers in the shape of a crown for the back of their helmet. But they have to wait till Monday’s practice to get them, so for now each point scored is for the team. And even though the linemen may not put the points on the board for every one to see, they will have plenty of stickers come Monday. All they have to do is let nothing through and keep that 2-hole open. They play as a team, they score as a team, they win as a team. The opposite is linemen that let the blitz through for spite, receivers that prefer to walk their route, running-backs bumping into each other while trying to find a hole and trying to go in the right direction on the field. A quarterback that has to constantly scramble out of the pocket, carry the ball most of the time, and get sacked by the blitz. The only thing that doesn’t change is the perfect play book, the perfect coach, and the owner in the sky box, now saddened by his teams performance. Waiting for just one player to look up to the box for some direction. This always seems to make him smile again. (we didn’t even get to the fans,waterboy,or cheerleaders…lol)