bits from bob....
Those who are avid sports fan can nearly always tell in detail about the latest team to "blow it." Losing teams blow large leads, fumble, lose confidence, and end up asking "What if....?" or sighing "If only...."
This article is not about sports but life. The parallels reflect life's realities.
I. Getting Momentum is Important--Keeping It is Equally Important
If a team loses momentum, if "Big Mo" shifts sides, the outcome of the game changes. The church in too many places has lost its momentum. Lost momentum decimates confidence. Self-doubt sets in. Churches give up on evangelism. Christians give up on their friends. Elders give up on wayward brothers and sisters. Why? Lost momentum. Lost momentum decimates self-esteem. Churches come down with "Grasshopper Syndrome." We think we are not as good as others, that our whole effort is flawed. Lost momentum diminishes involvement. No one wants the ball, what if I make a mistake, don't ask me to help.
II. A Great Start is Not Enough--Only How One Finishes Counts
How many teams would have won if the game had ended at halftime. The second half must be played. Too many churches and Christians begin great and end poorly. Retirement is not a time to stop working for God but a time to begin greater involvement. Sitting on the premises will not get the job done. Be thou faithful until _______!
III. One Must Overcome Life's Fumbles and Stumbles
Teams are done in by mistakes. Many Christians are likewise deterred in living for Jesus. Everything is going great — Bible study, prayer, worship attendance, involvement — until the fumble causes the spiritual stumble. Fumbles in life take many forms — job losses, family problems, divorce, disappointments, ill health. Some never recover from the fumbles. But recovery is possible! It's OK to stumble and go down, just don't stay down for the count! Fumbles are a part of life. Churches fumble, Christians fumble. But faithful churches and faithful Christians get up and try again.
IV. Maintain the Game Plan, but Make Necessary Adjustment
Sports analysts often analyze the halftime adjustments. The team that adjusts better usually wins. The second half is not the first half. The church has been slow to make halftime adjustments. Some seem to think we are still in the first half (1900-1950). Some are still running the same plays gaining precious few yards (souls). What worked in the first half usually doesn't work in the second. The game changes. It is a different game. Brothers and sisters, the first half is over. The second half is over (1950-2000). We are in overtime! If we are going to win, we better make the necessary adjustment.
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