Imagine a football team that was able to recruit great players.  A team that was able to complete their roster faster than any other.  A team that was able to fill their stadium with raving fans.

The fans loved the state of the art video screens that enabled them to watch every play in high definition.  They loved the way they could see the agony and the ecstasy on each player’s face after every exciting hit.  They even loved the cool uniforms the players wore that the back office designed.

But when the players started the game . . . they were penalized for foolish mistakes.  They dropped the ball when it was thrown to them.  They fumbled when the opposing team attacked.  They crumbled when the pressure was on.  They rarely moved the ball up the field . . . let alone scored any points.

Off the field, the players’ lives were a mess.  There were problems with domestic violence, divorce, and substance abuse.

Eventually, the fans quit coming to the games.

New management was brought in.  A new stadium that cost a bazillion dollars was constructed.  Bigger screens, brighter lights, better beer!  And the fans filled the arena.

Until they became bored once again.

Unfortunately, this story sounds all too familiar to our hometown team in Cleveland!  It also sounds far too similar to many of our churches.

We are able to recruit great staff.  We fill our roster with leaders from around the community.  We produce a weekend experience that brings in the crowds.

And the crowds love our state of the art video screens that enable them to watch every service in high definition.  They love the way they can see the agony and the ecstasy on each worship leader’s face after every high note hit.  They even love that we dress in the latest of fashion.

But when it’s time to start the game . . . we repeat the same old mistakes in life.  We drop the ball when it comes to responsibility.  We fumble around when the opposing team attacks.  Our faith crumbles when the pressure is on.  We rarely make a difference in the community . . . let alone advance God’s Kingdom.

Once the church fans leave the building their lives are a mess.  There are problems with domestic violence, divorce, and substance abuse.

Eventually, attendance dwindles.

A new Pastor is hired.  He leads us through an awesome building campaign that inspires us to construct a new worship facility.  Bigger screens, brighter lights, better . . . !  And new attendees fill the stadium seats.

Until they become bored once again.

We don’t want to be part of a church like that.  And we know you don’t want to be part of a church like that either.

 

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