I enjoy sports (playing and watching). Tallahassee is a city with a rich sports history. Our town is known as a place where national champions play! Rivalry week in college football is a big deal, especially in our state. The Florida State-Florida game continues to be a significant rivalry for local, state, and national media outlets.
I watched the game last Saturday night. During the day, I met many people who had opinions about the outcome of the game. I’d like to give you ten takeaways I had from the game. These takeaways relate to our church’s vision, relationships, and ministries.
- Coaches and players took to the sidelines and field and gave their best.
God hasn’t called you and me to give Him what we have left over or don’t need. He desires for us to give Him our best! John 3:16 reveals that the Father gave us His best, Jesus Christ. Are you giving the Lord your best?
- Game day allowed many fans to display enthusiasm and anticipation for their team.
Are you and I enthusiastic about our church? Do we gather in worship with the anticipation that God is going to change lives? I challenge you to invite other people to attend Bradfordville and for you to come with spiritual anticipation.
- Coaches invested hours preparing their players for the game.
As your pastoral staff and senior pastor, and according to Eph. 4:11-12, our calling is to prepare you for ministry. The church grows as you discover and practice your spiritual gift(s).
- Encouragement was evident between players and coaches.
God hasn’t called you and me to tear one another down. He expects us to build each other up (Eph. 4:29). As opportunities surface, I hope you’ll find ways to encourage your church family. A personal word, card, or call can uplift and inspire a brother or sister in Christ.
- Referees called out players and coaches when their behavior was inappropriate.
Paul asked God’s people “to speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Accountability in the Christian life is a good thing. Challenging other people to live faithful to Christ and in step with biblical principles is “loving inward.”
- Teams needed a halftime break to rest and evaluate their performance.
Rest is a good thing in the Christian life. Jesus called His followers to pull away from the crowds and rest (Mk. 6:30-31). Are you getting enough rest in the Christian life? Taking a break gives you an opportunity to evaluate your involvement in ministry. Are you fulfilling God’s call? Are you in the center of God’s will? How does God want to change you and your ministry in the days ahead? Rest and evaluation are profitable for effectiveness and longevity in ministry.
- Passion and expression were considered normal behavior by fans.
Are you and I passionate about the Lord and His church? Is expression evident in our worship gatherings? Showing expression in worship doesn’t mean that we’ve forsaken our Baptist heritage. Passion and expression allow us to show God how much we adore and love Him. Expressive (and orderly) worship is taught in God’s Word (Psalm 150).
- The time came for the teams to take the field and play the game.
God has called His church to make disciples (Mt. 28:19). Disciple-making isn’t about knowledge only. Jesus called fishermen to come and follow Him. As they followed, He would make them “fishers of men” (Mt. 4:18-22). Staying in a “Christian huddle” isn’t God’s plan for the church. He expects His followers to “leave the building” and penetrate spiritual darkness.
- Many individuals that were involved in the game and broadcast worked behind the scenes.
I celebrate the many individuals who serve Jesus behind the scenes at Bradfordville. Your ministry is appreciated and priceless! Speaking for those of us who serve in front of people and on camera, thank you for serving the Lord for His recognition and glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
- A dark and empty football stadium reveals how rivalry week is temporal.
The church’s mission and message is eternal, not temporal. Jesus called His followers to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth (Mt. 6:19-21). As you and I make disciples that love upward, inward, and outward, our labor in the Lord is eternal. Thank you for serving to build His kingdom and fulfill His agenda! Your labor in the Lord isn’t in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).
Thank you for being a church that’s making an eternal difference in our city, state, nation, and world!
To God Be the Glory!