Brett Favre, McCarthy & Church Leadership
One of my alltime favorite players in my all-time favorite sport, along with his coach, is teaching me some lessons about church leadership this week.? Ever since I took the plunge into church planting I’ve given myself the label of “Coach”.? To me, the term is far more concrete than “pastor”.? Pastor is sort of a nebulous term that most people don’t understand.? Add to that the fact that what most people THINK they understand about what a “pastor” is SUPPOSED to be is so off-base, and you’ve got a good reason for choosing a different title.? So, I’ve chosen “Coach” because I truly believe that the title is an accurate description of the biblical role of “pastor”.
With that being said, I’m learning some interesting lessons this week watching the drama unfold in Green Bay between Favre and his coach, Mike McCarthy.? Favre is without a doubt one of the most remarkable players in NFL history.? He is a three-time league MVP and holder of virtually every quarterback record of significance.? In some respects, Favre IS the Green Bay Packers.? He has been the face, heart and soul of the organization for years.? McCarthy on the other hand has only been the coach of the Packers for two years.
Sort of a mismatch, wouldn’t you say?? Certainly no coach in his third year can hold a candle to a future Hall of Famer and face of a franchise…… can he?
Check out this report from news sources:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday evening that after approximately six hours of what he called ?brutally honest? conversations with Favre over the past two days, the three-time MVP just isn?t in the right mind-set to be part of the team.
Even with the chance to win his starting job back potentially on the table, McCarthy said Favre couldn?t seem to get past emotional wounds that were opened as tensions mounted in recent weeks.
?The football team?s moving forward,? McCarthy said. ?The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want. He needs to jump on the train and let?s go. Or, if we can?t get past things that have happened, I have to keep the train moving.?
Far too many churches are led by “pastors” who have fallen into the trap of thinking that their primary job is to please everyone and keep everyone happy.? And it certainly seems that the number one expectation of a majority of church-goers is that the “pastor” should do just that.? As a result, many pastors, with God-inspired vision and dreams in their heart, set that aside to keep the peace… to make sure everyone is happy.? Meanwhile, vision suffers and a church that has the potential to be a devil-crushing, kingdom-building juggernaut becomes yet another playground where Christians play church and souls go unreached.
I know in the church-world it comes across as crass and uncaring, but I’m on the same page as Mike McCarthy on this one.? Is Favre one of the best ever?? Without a doubt.? but McCarthey’s job is not to keep Favre happy.? His responsibility is to the ownership to build a winning team —- with or without Favre.? And if Favre is an impediment to that outcome, then he is a problem and not the solution.
No church leader in the world can keep everyone happy and it is a incredible misuse of time to try.? Jesus Christ commissioned his team to GO… not sit around singing Kum-Ba-Yah!? Go is an action word.? And he placed a coach on every team to lead that team to become a devil-crushing, kingdom-advancing powerhouse.
As much as I love Favre, I applaud the coach who has had the courage to look him in the eye and tell him get on or get out.? And while that same sentiment may be a bit too strong for the church, I echo the heart of it.? To church-goers everywhere…. Jesus Christ has called you to be a player and he has put together teams that represent him all over the place.? if you can’t “get on the train” with the church you are at, then find one you can… and give him… and give that church… everything you’ve got.? And serve with passion!