If you know me, you know that when it comes to football I like two teams: The Oregon Ducks and the Seattle Seahawks. You might also know that this past week both those teams played in a significant and meaningful game: The Ducks played in the College Football National Championship and the Seahawks played in the NFC Championship Game. And both those games had different results.
For the Ducks, they lost to an Ohio State team that was in strong and in charge of the game from start to finish. For the Seahawks, they won against a Green Bay team that was in strong and in charge of the game for 55 minutes. But during the final five minutes of that game, Green Bay made some errors and the Seahawks capitalized on those errors to win in an epic overtime that will likely go down as one of the greatest comebacks in football history.
Those two games got me thinking a lot about staying strong. And while I don’t want to draw too many spiritual thoughts from the world of sports, I will say that one team (Ohio State) stayed strong and the other team (Green Bay) did not stay strong. And as weird as it is to hear myself say this (Ducks fans: please don’t hate me!), I want to be an Ohio State kind of team in my own life and in my own ministry.
What I mean by that, is I want to keep my foot on the gas pedal and not get soft or conservative, but to continue to take chances and to not succumb to apathy. It can be so easy in ministry to just go through the motions. To just play a song because it’s one you are familiar with. To use the same set that you did a year ago. But is this staying strong? Is this being persistent and diligent to the calling God has given you?
For me, I want to always stay strong in my ministry. I want to be trying things and even failing at things sometimes. I want to keep my foot on the gas pedal and be aware of my surroundings. I want to make sure to be getting feedback from all those around me so that I can improve what we’re doing as a ministry.
My guess is that in those final five minutes, Green Bay was not seeking to improve or push the gas pedal, they were trying to just survive. I don’t ever want to just be someone who survives in ministry. I want to thrive! I want to reach and encourage people for God’s glory. I want to stay strong in all that I do. And I think that’s something all of us can aspire to as we seek God and move forward in our ministries.