Saturday, January 08, 2005

Church vs. Sports

I don't know what happened. Everything was set to be perfect. I'm not working weekends at Urgent Care any more. Revref is done studying. The Seahawks are actually in the playoffs. Everything looks great.

RevRef and I can sit together on the couch and root for (and yell at the) Seahawks together, right? WRONG! I am getting ready to sit and watch the playoffs all by myself. It is so wrong. My favorite football buddy is a 3hr drive away(one-way) at, of all things, an ordination. I don't know the person getting ordaind so I have chosen to stay home with the child and the play-offs.

I ask you, who in their right mind would plan their ordination in the middle of the play-offs? Then the second question would be, who in their right mind would drive in a snow storm 3hr to attend a 2hr service then drive 3hr back home missing all of the play-off games? This ranks right up there with when our priest scheduled the annual meeting during the play-offs. Most of the men in the congregation were all grumbly that day. There is a time and a place for everything and I believe that God helped the NFL arrange the by-weekends so that we would have a time for things like annual meetings and if you must be ordained during play-off time, ordinations.

My advice to all of you who have yet to be ordained is to take this in to consideration when planning your ordination service. Look ahead at the sports calander folks. You need the men in your church. The best way to get them there is to consider the sports calander when planning events. If at all possible combining the two would be best. Think the possibilities. It is a proven fact that you can increase numbers in your Youth Groups by taking them to a major game, and having an evening prayer service before the event. In fact it has been known to reach teens that were non-believers brought to the event by their christian friends. Think what you could do if the church as a whole used this philosophy on its adults.

We are always saying invite a person to church who doesn't usually attend church. Would you be more apt to accept an invitation to a sporting event with a "luncheon service before" or attend an all out "Sunday service" Think about it sometime. More non-church going people would rather attend a picnic than a church function. Heck they would rather do anything than go to church were they think that they will be "judged for not attending sooner" somehow we have to get through to those who don't attend that we too like sports, we too like the Super Bowl, and yes we do care if they come and we would like to see them in our pews, and our doors will continue to stay open for them now and always.

We are all human, we all have are faults. Until you feel the love of God surround you, you aren't willing to put church before a sporting event. Somehow we need to make others feel the love of God, but it doesn't happen over night, it is sometimes a long ardous process. Many don't want to belive that it begins with letting Jesus into their heart and learning to walk in the light. It's as easy as "In all ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight". Saying that they are sorry and being forgiven is sometimes too hard to comprehend. That my friend is sad. That my friend is what makes Jesus weep.


Anonymous said...

The Son-In-Law started a Super Bowl party when they moved to Montana from Chicago. The church they attended there did it and he loved it. The church here had a Sunday evening service so he did it at the house. The evening service was discontinued and the party grew. Now it is held in the church gym with the game projected on the wall. He shows a Christian jock video during half time so last year they all missed MS Jackson's thing.
Invite everyone you know is his philosophy. He has started getting door prizes for this years party and expects more than the 120 that were there last year. Drive over to Missoula and join the fun, bring your neighbor or somebody from work that doesn't go to church.

Reverend Ref + said...

Sounds like a plan, hon. Why don't you work on that liturgical sports calendar for me?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know that I'm not a sports fan ("Who is RevRef cheering for? Excellent, I'll support the other team..."). However, I do agree that we need to carefully look at liturgies and sports. (And there have been PLENTY of youth groups earing money on Super Bowl day by selling food.)

HOWEVER - there are bishops involved in ordinations. And if the bishops don't care about the sports, they aren't going to so much care about planning their liturgies (much less their lives) around said events... So, as with all your disagreements with a bishop...good luck with that...