Every once in a while you might hear me say, “Let’s just drop 15 and punt.” It’s a football analogy. When the team with the ball cannot get a first down in 4 tries, on the 3rd they will usually hike the ball back about 15 years and let the punter kick it to the opposing team.” The reason why I say it is simple. “This isn’t working, let’s try something else.”
So about 3/4’s through my Saturday night sermon a couple of week ago, I knew it was time to drop 15 and punt. I couldn't put my finger on the problem specifically, but I have probably preached a few thousand times over my career. I know when it’s working and I know when it isn’t. This one just couldn’t get it together.
Know when to quit. There are times that we try to make something work, only to frustrate ourselves again and again. We’ve all done it and it makes us crazy. But if we were to step back and say, “This isn’t working.” We could end our frustration and channel our energies into doing something different.
You didn’t give up. Just because you stop doing something doesn’t mean that you’ve stop trying. You’re just looking for a new way. People will become addicting to what they are doing and forget why they are suppose to be doing it. “Well, we’ve always done it this way.” These can be the last dying words of a church, a business, even a marriage. Don’t give up, just change your methods.
Know what to do. Saturday night I went home, pulled up my sermon on my iPad and completely reworked it from top to bottom. While it had the same message, it was a different sermon. If you don’t know what to do, find someone who had done what you want to do and ask them - how did you do that? Buy them a cup of coffee or even lunch. Take a notebook, if you think you need to. Sit down, ask your question and listen!
- If you want to have a long lasting marriage - find a couple who has been married for 30 - 50 years.
- If you want a business that grows. Find someone who built a business to the size that you want to be.
“Oh pastor, those people wouldn’t take time for me.” You’re wrong. The good ones look for these kind of opportunities to share their wealth of knowledge and wisdom. If you’re willing to learn, they are willing to teach.
The comment about my sermon above? It came from the Sunday service. Dropping 15 and punting was a GREAT IDEA!