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I Didn’t Pay to See That

If you are a regular church attender and you have been for a long time, you know that folks will ask you from time to time, “Tell me about your church.”  Although it is great to be asked, I have often failed to answer with the info the person was seeking.  After sharing about the good spirit within the church, the strong attendance, the missions’ successes, new ministries that are happening and going strong, special events that have just occurred, and topics along those lines, I have watched as people look blank as I seek to answer the very question they asked me.  Then, I ask if that helps to answer their question.  It is in that moment that they respond, “What I wanted to know is do you sing hymns or are you a “contemporary church”?”  What they were looking for was not an overview of the church, but a point of interest about our church about which they were curious.

In the same way, we have often had members that are more interested to talk about the worship services than about the work of the church through service models.  Sadly, we are sometimes more enamored by what we see or “fail to see” in the room on Sunday, that we lose sight of what is most important in the life of the church….evangelism, missions, prayer, and ministry.

“In football they have a huddle, the goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play. That is why they give you a huddle. At a professional football game there may be sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play. They understand that you have to get organized, you have to know where you are going to go, the ends need to know where they are going to go, the quarterback needs to know where he is going to go, and the backs need to know where they are going to go. A huddle is a necessary part of playing the game.

But let me inform you if you do not already know, sixty thousand people do not pay $20 a ticket to watch you huddle. See, people don’t come to football games to watch the huddle. They want to see if their team can overcome the opposition who is daring them to snap the ball and move down the field to score. What they want to know is does your practice work?

Now what Christians often do is get high on their huddles. We gather together on Sunday morning and Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and we go nuts over the huddle! We say, “Boy did we have a huddle!! My quarterback can call plays better than your quarterback. And boy do we go off on the huddle. But what people don’t seem to understand is, that the huddle is so that we can play the game. The effectiveness of your church cannot be measured by how well you do on Sunday morning. … The test of the church is what it does in the marketplace. What we need today is churches that are representative of Jesus Christ not only when gathered but when disseminated.” (Dr. Tony Evans. “The Power of God’s People.” (Sermon, 1987 – Church Growth Conference, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, TX)