You would be surprised just how much church can be like a football game.
With that in mind, I humbly submit:
The Christian’s Guide to Football
• QUARTERBACK SNEAK: Church members quietly leaving during the closing prayer.
• DRAW PLAY: What many children (and more than a few adults) do with the offering envelopes during worship.
• BENCHWARMER: Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit in the church. Many of the benchwarmers also play another position: complainer.
• BACKFIELD IN MOTION: Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service. Believe it or not, I’ve seen people commit this penalty many times in one service, usually when they are sitting near the front of the church.
• STAYING IN THE POCKET: What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord’s work.
• TWO MINUTE WARNING: When the pastor says, “In conclusion,” or “I will close with this.” In some churches (okay most churches) it means nothing. The pastor is still going to preach for a while, he’s just messing with your head.
• CRUNCH TIME: The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings so you can beat the other church people to Carrows and “fellowship.”
• INSTANT REPLAY: The pastor loses his notes and falls back on last week’s illustrations, or preaches on the same subject so many times the people have a strange sense of déjà vu every week.
• SUDDEN DEATH: What happens to some church members if the preacher goes “overtime” (past noon). Also what can happen if the pastor preaches on tithing, sin, or being busy for God.
• TRAP: What happens to the pastor when four or five regular church members corner him after service to talk to him, thus not allowing him to meet the new families in attendance that day. They’re not talking to him about anything pressing or earthshaking. They just want to let him know about their latest bunion, or complain that the sanctuary was too cold or warm, or let him know that they were in church that day. Meanwhile, the new people get away without being spoken to personally by the pastor.
• END RUN: Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member. This play is usually run by people who will later complain that they are going to go to another church, since this one just “isn’t friendly, nobody ever talked to me.”
• AUDIBLE: The voice many people use when they talk in church. Not the preacher, mind you, the people in the pew. Usually to say vitally important and spiritual things like, “Doesn’t he know it’s almost noon? My pot roast is going to burn.”
• BUMP AND RUN: A form of defense where you knock people out of the way so you can get to “your” pew.
• ENCROACHMENT: What other people are doing when your bump and run defense fails and these inconsiderate, know nothing, heathens sit in “your” pew. Why, don’t they know you’ve been sitting in that pew since Moses was a toddler? Don’t they know that your great Aunt Harriet’s mother’s Uncle Josiah paid for that pew? Don’t they know…
• DEAD BALL PENALTY: Falling asleep in church. And snoring. Loudly.
• FLEX DEFENSE: The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.
• BLITZ: The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.
• TOUCHDOWN: What happens when Christians get beyond all this other stuff and lead somebody to Christ. Touchdowns are why we play the game, they are the reason all the positions, pews, pastors, buildings, and people exist.
Working hard to score touchdowns… Jerry