Pastor's Blog: Kickoff Rules Change

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

It’s hard to believe, but football season is right around the corner. Those of us who are fans of the game have been looking forward to this time for many months. Soon enough, our favorite teams will be lining up to kickoff what will surely be another exciting year.  

Of course, one of the more exasperating parts of each new season is learning all of the rule changes. Though not that much changes from year to year in football, enough changes are put in place that even the most ardent fan has to get caught up to speed lest he or she become confused over some ruling on the field. Some of these changes are good and sensible; others seem to be primed to get reversed in the future. The deciding factor will of course be how they influence the action on the field.  

That principle applies to other areas of life and faith as well. Consider for example, the “Fall Kickoff Sunday” we’ll hold this coming Sunday. In the past, this event has been only for the women in our church. They alone got the opportunity to don their favorite team’s colors and gather at the church to celebrate the beginning of another year of small group ministry. But this year, the rules have changed! We men will be allowed to join the party also. Thanks to the good work of our staff in charge of Discipleship, Wayne Splawn, Mary Splawn, and Amy Hirsch, everyone, male and female, young and old, is invited to come this Sunday for a time of food, fellowship, information, and inspiration about the small group game plans at MBBC for this fall.  

All of this planning goes back to our Vision 2020 Plan, which encouraged among other ministries in our church, experiences for every life stage group in Mountain Brook Baptist Church. The ultimate objective was to make such a group available to folk across the board so that we might deepen our relationships with God and one another, which is what every church is ideally called to do. Remember the thumbnail proposal that went along with this part of our church’s strategic vision: “We follow Jesus.” The Bible’s clear prescription for discipleship is to have it happen in community.   

So, I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. The “play” is for the men to line up in Hudson Hall at 5:30 p.m., the women to do the same in Heritage Hall, and the school-aged children to meet in the gym at the same time. As always, parents needing childcare for this Sunday can contact Sharon to make arrangements. The cost for the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children.   

I read recently that Jesus always invited people to follow him more than he invited them to believe in him. That’s not to minimize faith; it’s only to underscore the importance of giving evidence of our faith through our serious follow-ship. When it’s all said and done, we’re all on the same team anyway, and with Jesus calling the plays, there’s no way any of us is bound to lose. We’ll all be sure to receive “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award…on that day.”   

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).