Are you a Dallas Cowboy fan? Charles Haley is a Hall of Fame defensive end who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Though he is a man with feet of clay, he undoubtedly knows football. In a recent interview with pro sports reporter Darin Gantt, Haley gave profound advice to the current players of the Dallas Cowboys.
After their season of erratic play, preventable injuries, and key player suspensions, America’s Team missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Always ready with advice, Haley offered some answers to the problems facing the young Cowboy team. As I read through his interview, I could not help but see comparisons to our spiritual lives.
Here are some of the suggestions that Charles Haley provided to a disappointed team that had so much promise, but fell short of hoped-for accomplishments. He began by saying that the Cowboys did not seem to understand what it takes to be successful. Haley then said that the team needed to:
1. Work harder and take nothing for granted.
2. Grow up, mature, and restrain their egos
3. Do extra training and go beyond the minimum expectations
4. Stop with the social-media like Twitter, Facebook, etc.
5. Get back to the basics of the playbook and learn to rush, catch, and block
6. Realize that no one is afraid to play them
7. Get into playing shape and live up to their hype
He finished by saying that Jerry Jones did not build that huge stadium for losers!
The words of this NFL Hall of Famer are fitting for most Christians. While there are many Christians in the world, there are so many lost souls that still need Jesus. Recent evangelism statistics from Bible.org estimated that 95% of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ! The report also stated that 80% of all Christians never witness for Christ. You can argue with these numbers, but what about you?
With these statistics in mind, maybe having Charles Haley preach to the choir is a good idea. Let’s take his key thoughts and apply them to Christians regarding the ministry of soul-winning:
1. It is time for Christians to depend less the hired ministry staff, and to do more personal evangelism. Winning the world to Christ is not automatic, easy, or the result of focus groups, interpretative meditation, or reading a good book.
2. Christians need to grow beyond the “feed me and please me” stage, and get involved in reaching others. We contend over styles of music, length of services, and being offended, more than we contend for the Faith!
3. Being saved is the starting gate, not the finish line. Believers must constantly improve their Bible knowledge and prayer life. Exercising our Faith is more than walking from the car to the sanctuary.
4. Social media has trapped many Christians. While a lost and dying world passes them by, many Believers are consumed with the latest headlines, Hollywood gossip, and sports rumors. Set it aside and concentrate on the needs of others.
5. Return to the rudiments of the Gospel message. Prayer, Bible reading, and witnessing are the basics of Christianity.
6. It is humbling to see Christians being maligned and criticized. The world no longer worries about us. They see us as a toothless group of detached extremists, that are ripe for disparagement.
7. The call today is to shape up and step out! Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” A church on the move will crush the enemy and win the lost. But we have to be spiritually in shape for the battle. (Ephesians 6)
Indeed, God did not build Heaven for losers. Only the victorious are there. The overcomers make it. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:4) Agree?