What The Church Can Learn From Chris Johnson & The Tennessee Titans’ Running Game

Nashville’s Tennessee Titans’ running game has something to teach the church.  After a holdout that caused Chris Johnson, the best running back in the National Football League the past three years, to miss all of training camp, the Titans signed him to a $50+ million dollar contract.  Chris is one of only six NFL players to run 2,000 yards in a season and calls himself CJ2K.  However, the first 3 games of this season (2011), CJ didn’t even have a total of 100 yards.  So what can the church learn from this?

*  Don’t make excuses for poor performance, but take personal responsibility for it.  Both CJ and the Titans have openly admitted that their running game is really bad.  They have publicly said that they are not getting the job done.  The church, however, although it has been declining in both numbers and influence for many years, continues to make excuses and blame society for the church’s poor performance.

* Don’t call the abnormal normal.  Remember past success and don’t lower your standards.  The Titans have refused to accept their pitiful running game as normal.  They remember the success of the past three seasons and are motivated to get it back.   The church, however, has accepted its lack of spiritual power — its failure to set people free from sin and to transform society — as normal.  The church has forgotten its amazing success that is described in the book of Acts.  It has forgotten that it was powerful and accepts being pitiful as normal.

* Continually make adjustments, strive for improvement, and try new ideas.  The Titans work everyday on improving their running game.  They publicly state that they are going to keep working on it until they get it right.  The church, however, is often afraid to make changes.  It is satisfied with low performance.  If someone in church does try something out of the box, she or he is often criticized, resisted, and forced to conform back to the things that are not producing success.

*  When you see a little success, don’t get satisfied, but keep striving for improvement.  Yesterday, against the Cleveland Browns, CJ ran for more than 100 yards.  Yet, the Titans are not satisfied — they know that there is much more success for them to achieve.  Perhaps the church should face the fact that maintaining sub-standard performance is a tragic denial of the power of God.  Perhaps we should read the book of Acts, see what the church is really supposed to be accomplishing, and strive for that level of Christianity with the same determination, practice, and effort that the Titans strive for improving their game.

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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4 Responses to What The Church Can Learn From Chris Johnson & The Tennessee Titans’ Running Game

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    I was raised to believe the church was to be the Church of Jesus Christ, although I would spend almost the first 45 years of my years, failing to understand what that might mean on a personal basis. So, church became a place to join together with good friends and be glad that we were not like those others.

    Then, I was to learn, we are – those others.

    I should have read “all have sinned” but instead, it was all of those others.

    When at long last, I stumbled upon the fact that going to church did not make you good, but developing a relationship with the One who died that my sins would be carried away – as far as the East is from the West, was the answer to my problems, real life began to dawn on me.

    Therefore, while I understand the thought that the church is much like Chris Johnson, the fact that he has seemed to stumble this year, is due to a greater reality, his linemen have not been opening the holes he used to run through. Football, unlike the Christian life, is a team sport. There may be heroes, but unless there is a team, we are in for a losing season.

    On the other hand, in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world – all seven billion of us today and the seven billion who have preceded us, we seem to be losing and it is – in a football analogy, because we are far too separated from one another that we lose and will continue to lose. There is little teamwork as we seem to be too proud of the fact that our brothers and sisters in the faith are separated by theological notions as to what is wrong and what is right.
    In that, we are all wrong and therefore, we are losing the battle.

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