Summary: Imagine God as a coach

January 10, 2010

Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church

Rescue United Methodist Church

Luke 3:15-22

A funny thing happened last Thursday night, and no I don’t mean Alabama won the national championship. That wasn’t a funny thing……that was a great thing!

The sermon that I had been working on since last Sunday night somehow seemed to be completely lifted off of my heart and became uninspiring.

Yall know better than I that there is probably nothing worse than an uninspired sermon.

In my years of attending church, whether it be a Roman Catholic church or another protestant church, I have heard my fair share of uninspired sermon.

In fact I’m sure y’all would agree that I have probably given some uninspired sermons myself and for that I apologize.

There are times when a minister prepares his/her message that after we read from scripture that we decide to go one direction and then couple of days later (usually Saturday night) we suddenly realize this isn’t what God wants us to say.

We then spend the next few hours playing catch up, we prepare a very disorganized sermon with right message in spirit but totally lacking in substance and merit because we hurriedly put it together just to have a sermon prepared.

There are also those times when we read from scripture and for some reason, whether it be from outside distractions or internal distractions that we simply can’t discern what God wants us to say, so come Friday, Saturday night we put a sermon together with a lot of substance, but not necessarily the message that God had wanted to place on our hearts, just to achieve the goal of having a prepared sermon.

A wise football coach (Saban) once said that you have to pay attention to the process rather than the goal.

Just take a look at the life of a coach first.

It’s not easy to win a championship at ANY level, much less at the national level.

Coaches are judged so much by their win totals and how many championships they win, that they often forget that they are in the business of educating young men and women.

However in reality, they don’t judge a coach by his graduation rate either, you never hear them say, ”Hey coach you finished 0-12 this year, attendance was down 40 percent and fund raising is down 50 percent BUT you graduated 98 percent of your athletes; we want to extend your contract and give you FIVE MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

They will even get to the point where they will bend the rules or have others bend the rules for them that way they have plausible deniability.

An example of that is when an Alabama booster paid a high school football coach $200,000 to get his player to sign with Alabama.

Alabama would eventually be charged with “lack of institutional control” and given 5 years probation, a two year bowl ban, lost 21 scholarships over a three year period and narrowly missed being given the “death penalty”; which would have meant that the university would have to disband the football team.

Funny thing is, the player never played a down at Bama. He would eventually be released from his scholarship and he would eventually transfer to Memphis.

Imagine all of this for 17-18 year old young man.

This is definitely a case where the end doesn’t justify the “means”.

In our reading today, God calls out to his son, much like a coach calls out to one of his players.

When a coach comes to a recruit’s home, usually the first thing a coach tells the parent or parent’s is that they are going to look out after the player and keep them safe from harm.

Just a month or so ago several UT basketball players were arrested for armed robbery, this is not an isolated incident, it happens all the time.

When the coach is asked about the incident, the coach usually says I have x amount of players on this team and I can’t watch over each one 24/7.

Much like a coach asks a player to commit to his team, God call on us to commit to his team

When you commit to God, what does the Bible tell us: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Now let’s face it, Mack Brown, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban don’t just walk into Any players home; for schools like Texas, Florida and Alabama, if you are not at least a three star recruit (one being least talented and five being most talented), and even that is on a rare occasion, the only way you will see their coaches in your home is on the big screen in your living room on Saturdays.

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