Speaker: Jerry Cisar
In the summer of 1961, Vince Lombardi walked into the Green Bay Packers training camp. Just months prior, this team had lost the NFL championship (a.k.a. the Superbowl) in the last minutes of the game. Holding up a football, he began training camp with these words: “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
Lombardi methodically covered the fundamentals. Each player reviewed how to block and tackle. They opened up the playbook and started from page one. At some point, Max McGee, the Packers’ Pro Bowl wide receiver, joked, “Uh, Coach, could you slow down a little? You’re going too fast for us.” Lombardi reportedly cracked a smile, but continued his obsession with the basics all the same. His team would become the best in the league at the tasks everyone else took for granted.
Six months later, the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 37-0 to win the NFL Championship. Lombardi would never lose in the playoffs again. In total, Lombardi won five NFL Championships in a span of seven years, including three in a row. He never coached a team with a losing record.
In this text, Paul uses what might be considered a string of very tweetable quips that are the church community’s equivalent to “Brothers and sisters, this is a football.” Our text lays out the fundamentals of church life…the blocking, tackling, the essentials of community life and worship.