Summary: This sermon attempts to motivate Christians to get out of the pew and get involved in the ministry of the church.

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Introduction: Every now and then I come across something that is so good I need to share it with you. This is the opening week of the College football season. Tennessee won their game with California yesterday, and UK plays Louisville tonight in their opener. So this is for those of you who are football fans. The following football terms that have been applied to the church:

A Benchwarmer- is someone who does not sing, pray, work, or apparently do

anything but sit in the pew.

A Draw Play – is what many children do with the bulletin during worship.

Half-time – is the period between Sunday School and worship when a few people

choose to leave.

Staying in the pocket – What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the

Lord’s work.

The two Minute Warning – The point at which you realize that the sermon is

almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

Instant replay – When the preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week’s


Sudden Death – What happens to the attention span of the congregation when the

preacher goes into ‘overtime.’ (which of course is after 12:00 noon).

An End Run – is when you get out of church quickly, without speaking to anyone.

A Flex Defense –is the ability to allow absolutely nothing that was said during the

sermon to affect your life.

The Halfback Option – The decision of 50 percent or more of the congregation not

to return for the evening service.

Finally, A Blitz: is the rush that takes place following the closing prayer to beat

the crowd to the local restaurants.

Follow along as I read our text, which is found in Mark 2:1-5

Introduction: In 1976 Vince Papale was a 30 year old Substitute teacher and bartender in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He and his buddies spent most Sunday afternoons in the Fall either playing football at the park or watching the Philadelphia Eagles play on tv. Week after week they had high hopes, but week after week they got beat. (Those of us who are Titans fans can relate to that can’t we.) Then a New Head coach was hired a man by the name of Dick Vermeil, who had led UCLA to a Rose Bowl win the previous year. Vermeil convinced the owner of the Eagles to hold public tryouts, mostly as a publicity stunt to stir up excitement among the fans, who hadn’t had much to cheer about in recent years.

About the same time Vince Papale lost his substitute teaching job and subsequently lost his wife. Vince went to talk to his father and see what he though about Vince trying out for the Eagles. His father advised him not to because as he put it “a man can only take so much failure.” On the other hand all of his football buddies and a few of his co-workers encouraged him to try out for the team.

Most of the people who tried out were out of shape has been’s or wantabees. At the end of the day the only one to be selected was Vince. At the age of 30 he became the oldest rookie in the NFL.

But even though he may have convinced Coach Vermeil that he could play, he still had to prove himself to the rest of his teammates, which he eventually did out of sure determination and hard work. He is named the captain of the special teams unit and became a local hero and fan favorite. Eagles fans were crazy about the idea of a regular working class guy coming down out of the stands and getting into the game.

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