In the past couple of weeks I started watching the show Friday Night Lights on Netflix. Like some of my other favorite tv shows, The West Wing, Ted Lasso, and The Good Place, I am drawn to programs about people passionately pursuing their purpose.
In Friday Night Lights, Coach Taylor is very clear on his purpose. He needs to win football games. As it turns out, there are a variety of ways to do that. Others want to achieve that by breaking the rules, by abusing the players, or by relying on one or two strong players to carry the team. But not Coach Taylor. He develops a sense of pride and teamwork and they win games (always, it seems, in the last seconds of the game) by developing these young men in mind, body, and spirit. Well, body and spirit anyway.
I believe that there are parallels with the way a church goes after its mission. Jesus called his disciples and let them know that the work ahead would be challenging. He asked them to count the cost and if they were not up to the challenge, to stay behind. The journey involved pain and sacrifice, but the ones who accepted the challenge changed the world. Jesus gave all he had to save the world and bring about the Kingdom of God.
Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus teaching the disciples and many times "the crowd" is also listening in. But it it the disciples who are committed to the work.
We are planning a challenge for our church. The Red Letter Challenge. Who is all in as a follower of Jesus? How can we come together as a church to achieve our mission? Coach Taylor wins football games. We win hearts, minds, and souls as lives are transformed in the love of Jesus.
It is the most important work there is.
Be ready to take the challenge with us on September 19.