Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The requirement Paul overlooked

In addition to the requirements for church leadership listed by the apostle Paul, let's add in high school football. Why is playing high school football valuable for future church leaders?

1. Teamwork. A successful play requires every man to fulfill his particular assignment well. The right guard isn't watching the left tight end, to see if he's doing his job. He focuses on his own responsibility. When every man respects and trusts his teammates and does his own job well, the team moves the ball down the field toward the goal line.

2. Guts. You can't quit until the end of the fourth quarter. You don't save some reserve energy for the party after the game. You lay it all down during the game, and then you crawl off the field. You learn to play hurt without quitting. You endure and you find out how satisfying it is to endure when you're bleeding and sweating and your whole body is screaming out for relief but you keep going anyway.

3. Winning and losing. You practice with your buddies, you run the windsprints together, you pay the price together, and then you go out onto the field and kick butt together and you win and you have fun winning. And when you lose, you find out it isn't the end of the world because there's another game next weekend and you're going to work harder and play better next week and get back into that winning mode.

4. Manliness. God created manhood. He isn't embarrassed by it. He doesn't apologize for it as "macho." Manliness is beautiful in his sight. Football glorifies manliness. In a fallen world, everything, including manhood, is distorted. But even fallen men are reaching for something real and wonderful when they go onto the field and play out this mystery of manhood which God created for eternal glory. Guided by his wisdom, young manliness can grow into something sacrificial and humble and selfless and enduring throughout a man's life, for the benefit of others.

Paul did talk soldiering and farming and building. I don't think high school football is far away.