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Pastoral Landmines to Avoid During Football Season

Whether or not you're a fan, your pews are full of them.
Pastoral Landmines to Avoid During Football Season
Image: Doug Fleener

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

No, not Christmas. I’m talking about fall, a season awash in hoodies, pumpkins (the orange plants, not the faux flavor), and cracking pads. Fall brings football, and football is the ruler of the land. It’s a cultural staple, a social connecting point, a trigger for rivalries, and big business too. From September through the bleak winter months, football drives the rhythm of television and media as well as millions of households.

What does this mean for pastors? It means you probably ought to know what’s going on. Your entire church does. And the closer you live to Tuscaloosa, Tallahassee, or anywhere in Texas, the truer this is. For five months out of the year sermons are littered with football analogies, allusions, and stories. In some churches Vince Lombardi or Bear Bryant are honorary deacons in memoriam. In other churches pastors seeking to “relate to the folks in the pew” wedge a reference or two into the ...

May/June
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