LIfe lessons can come from anywhere, even football

Published 1:18 am Saturday, October 13, 2007

Life lessons can come from just about any place. Like the one I learned watching Monday Night Football. It was Dallas vs. Buffalo and it was a battle to the end. Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback threw five interceptions and fumbled the ball — leading to several scores by the Buffalo Bills. It looked like Romo could do nothing right. The amazing thing is that the Cowboys came back from a sure loss, scoring nine points in the last 20 seconds of the game. A field goal with two seconds to go earned them the 25-24 win.

After the game, Romo admitted that he played terribly. The lesson learned is that even when the quarterback is having an off day and isn’t performing up to his potential, a team can still win. Everyone on the Cowboys’ team gave it all they had. The running backs fought for every first down like their lives depended upon it. The receivers looked like contortion artists as they dived to catch Romo’s often ill thrown passes. Every block, every tackle, every yard was gained through tough determination. Even Romo refused to be deflated by his dismal performance and kept on passing.

It is often assumed that a great pastor makes a great church. This simply is not the case. The pastor is a very important part of the equation — competent leadership is essential — but unless there is a team of dedicated and determined workers faithfully doing their best at their designated tasks, the church will not be effective in its mission. Even pastors who give their ministry everything they’ve got will sometimes fumble and fail. Thank God, the church does not depend upon one person to make it happen.

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I am reminded that it is Christ who is head of the church, not the pastor. Paul, the apostle, revealed this truth in Ephesians 4:11-16 part of which says that pastors are responsible “to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord. …. growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

When you are tempted to throw in the towel, remember that a team depends on you. Your pastor and your church needs you on the team. Christ called you, redeemed you, and gifted you to be at your position, whether it is to coach, tackle, block, catch passes, kick field goals or cheer the team on with encouragement. Giving it your best may make the difference in whether the team wins or loses.

Del Loy is pastor of Crosspoint Church in Natchez.