McIntosh United Methodist Church

Spirituality of College Football, Week 3: The Playbook

This Week’s Text: Matthew 28:16-20

This week, we turn to the concept of the playbook. For the longest time, football offenses were boring. They all looked the same, and it just mattered whether you had bigger, stronger guys and could run the play better. However, if you have watched any amount of football, especially Gator Football over the last 20 years, you know that there are other ways to run offenses

The Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, would send the team to the line with a play called, but there are 2 to 3 or sometimes 4 other options from the same formation and personnel. Urban Meyer runs what is called the spread offense. For him, to take advantage of speed and agility, you needed space, so they created an offense in which you literally spread the players out across the field. The latest craze is the speed at which you call plays and line up to run them.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus has been raised from the dead, and he is about to ascend to heaven. This is his last chance to call a play- and we get the Great Commission.

And the commission is to go into all the world to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded us. How many of you are excited about this mission? It is ok if you are not- most people, even Christians, shudder a little bit when they think about evangelism. They think of the awkward, forced conversation between you and a friend, family member, or stranger.

The Great Commission sounds like a play- baptizing and teaching- but those are really outcomes. The play, the hard part, is getting people to that point- and Jesus doesn’t tell us how to do it. Why do you think that is? At the end of the day, Jesus doesn’t want to hamper our creativity. We are called not simply to be stewards of God’s creation but of God’s creativity as well. Creativity is ultimately the ability to approach problems or situations from a different point of view.

We have Scripture, prayers, dreams, talking donkeys, prophets, friends, nature, and on and on and on. God has gone and continues to go to tremendous lengths to communicate with us and be in a relationship with us- so why do we always jump to the image of the awkward conversation?!

God is calling us to spread the field, to call audibles, and to run the option. Just like football teams, we have a set of rules (like reflecting the character of God) and a set goal (making disciples), but we have the incredible opportunity to use our creativity and the players we have on our team to the glory of God. My prayer is that we would be excited by this, and that we would open ourselves up to see the creative ways we can reach those around us.

Posted in Sermons, Spirituality of College Football on September 15, 2013. Tags: , ,