A recent issue of the Washington Post contained an item about an internship program that places National Football League players into congressional internships during the off season.
In a recent letter to his fellow lawmakers, former Seattle Seahawks star (and now Congressman from Oklahoma) Steve Largent said, “NFL players have tremendous attributes that are not limited to the field.” He added that the internship program “often provides an effective way to redirect those attributes into the start of a successful post-football career.”
It’s not hard to imagine that some enterprising politicians will take advantage of such an offer, using NFL players to help attract crowds to fundraising events and such. But why waste all this talent on politics when those of us in church leadership could give them far more meaningful and valuable off-season opportunities?
For example, what pastor couldn’t use a couple of burly linemen to accompany him to those formerly-tumultuous board meetings? Just the sight of the new pastoral “escorts” is likely to convince the most unruly board member or deacon that the pastor “just might be right about that after all.”
We preachers could use a couple of good receivers in the congregation. We might even be able to take advantage of an NFL quarterback’s advice on how to “stay in the pocket” when the opposition is heading our way. Those quarterbacks might also help us preachers learn to be accurate when we “throw the long one” on Sunday morning. And who knows more about “Hail Marys” than these guys?
When we find ourselves hip deep in a sermon that’s just not going anywhere, it would be nice to have a good punter on hand. And when it comes time for the annual stewardship campaign, wouldn’t it be encouraging to know there was someone around who could carry the ball?
Of course, I could be looking at this all wrong. Rather than bring NFL players to do internships in our congregations, maybe it’s us preachers who should be going to Washington. If you think an NFL player can be a valuable congressional intern, imagine how much more helpful those lawmakers would find a pastor — a speaker / administrator / fund-raiser / counselor / janitor / promoter and more all in one package. And we work cheap.
The only problem I can see is that for preachers, there’s no off-season.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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