College football just experienced an intense weekend. So many games were on the verge of an upset and Auburn’s victory over Alabama in the last seconds will be talked about for years to come.
With many highlight-worthy moments this weekend, you might not have seen one of my favorite highlights from the previous weekend. It came when Florida lost to Georgia Southern. While it was a devastating loss, the highlight featured two of Florida players blocking each other.
While I am sure that they have received all types of condemnation from their loyal fans via the social media outlets by people protected behind a computer screen, it was a simple mistake. It didn’t cost Florida the game. In the heat of the moment, intensity, commotion, and nerves came over them and they probably were in the zone to hit anything that moved.
I’ve often wondered about how many warriors were killed in battle from someone on the same side accidentally backing into them and nerves taking a swing before eyesight could be trusted.
So, while the clip is humorous and hopefully, these guys can laugh about that moment one day, this post isn’t about football players on the same team blocking each other.
This post is about when Christians from different churches are guilty of the same thing.
When I watched this clip, I really felt like it summed up what I watch every week living in the Bible Belt. As Christians, while we may belong to different local churches, we are all on the same team of the Church. You are a member at a little “c” church, but you are ultimately a part of the big “C” Church.
And yet, if you look at our words and actions, you would think we all play for different teams.
The embarrassment of these Florida players blocking each other on one play out of the entire season is minimal compared to Christians doing it all the time. At least the Florida guys were playing for 1 win against another team in a game that centers around moving a leather ball across a goal line. Christians are trying to bring about reconciliation between God and a broken world and we get tangled up in whose music is better or whose preacher is more inspiring.
In our city, I feel like each local expression of the church is in a shouting match at each other concerning who loves their church the most. We don’t celebrate what another church is doing, we compete with it. “Well, they might have so and so going on over there, but at our church, we have…”
I am constantly watching many churches grow numerically, but if you look at the primary cause of growth in most churches, it is transfer growth as we reshuffle the deck and members of one church go and join another because of some unmet desire.
I constantly hear from church members that they are invited to try out another church because of how great the other one is. So, instead of reaching out to the unchurched, many folks in our community invite families that are happy and growing at another church to try out their superior one.
So much of our church advertising is based on, “So, you are tired of this…you want a that…our church is better than theirs…”
Our church has helped out other churches in the community when it comes to resources, manpower, counseling, volunteer hours, (we even have lent volunteers and staff members to other places at times when congregations are in need), and then learn that staff members from some of those churches are actually visiting or calling members from our church to try to lure them over to their congregation.
How much more ridiculous can the Body of Christ look trying to compete with one another? A couple of football players blocking each other on one play dulls in comparison to the mockery we can be as our words and actions paint a trivial picture of what the Body of Christ looks like.
The older I get, the more I long for heaven. I can’t wait for the day when I worship alongside a people who were ransomed by Jesus for God “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). You realize that it didn’t say from every denomination or every musical style or every local church. That should be a given.
It’s going to be quite the shock for us when we arrive in heaven and realize that we have to worship with folks from the other church down the street.
Let’s celebrate that now and stop blocking each other from what God has called our specific congregation to do. You are not them, and God doesn’t want you to be. There is an enemy, and it is not each other. I am sure though that our enemy loves watching the clips with how we are playing right now.
Big “C” Church, can we change the game plan?