01 February, 2008

Gather into the huddle

The Superbowl approaches and I await it with great anticipation! While usually an underdog kind of a girl, I have to say I am barracking for the Patriots and hope to see them crush the Giants into the ground...sorry Mike! So in the spirit of NFL it is appropriate to reflect on an inspirational quote wasted on men with objectives limited to run, stop and pound. So here it is...

"Don't confuse routine with commitment" - Bill Parcells- former NFL head coach

Now I make a habit of analysing things way beyond their design, but I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that the statement above is one cause of poor church growth, shallow discipleship and limited social justice. As churches and as Christians we design routines for ourselves. Sunday meetings, prayer meetings, 'outreach events', Bible Study, prayer walks, tithing, donating, volunteering. Our routine is often so filled with stuff for God and humanity that we feel satisfied and justified. And yet I imagine that our routine can become a blockage. Imagine the Hoover Dam...the wall becomes our routine and God the water...present and useful, but controlled. Commitment on the other hand refers not to what we do, but why we do it. Commitment is about results and not about landmarks. If we act according to our commitment and not our routine then God can be an unstoppable force in our life. We won't be afraid to sacrifice, be disturbed or feel uncomfortable.

Maybe your routine is good. Maybe it helps you to stay close to God. Your regular giving most likely helps many. Your half hour prayer times heard. Routines are a good tool. But what are you committed to? What drives your routine? Where is your destination? And is your routine going to get you there?

Think of this as your half time address. I am guessing by the state of the world and the church that we are losing. It's time to turn this game around and score a few touchdowns. I know you're tired, I know you're doing your best...but we have to dig deep. There will be glory, you'll get a shiny ring, but the crowd needs more!

Till next week,

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