After a long exile, I managed to get along to see Bradford City play on Boxing Day. It was an enjoyable afternoon, though a little frustrating seeing them fight out another 0-0 draw.
Here are some reflections.
1. I was reminded how seriously we football fans take things. There’s nothing like the passion of a large, partisan crowd. Most people are in the ground well before kick off, ready for things to start. Guess what they talk about before the game? That’s right, they are talking football and afterwards? Still talking about it! There’s a real sense of occasion, they want to be there and that’s their supreme focus at that time. Is that true of us as believers when we gather?
2. The chairmen came onto the pitch at the start and made an announcement. It was meant to be one of those gee up the fans sort f of pep talks. The gist was that they wanted to get us to the Premier League and needed us to trust them to make decisions in the best interest of the fans. The problem was that this announcement had a negative, unnerving effect. Fan forums quickly had threads asking “What bad news are we being softened up for?” It was an example of bad communication. If you have something to say, say it clearly. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it!
3. On the pitch we saw some lovely football. I understand the style of play is much more attractive than under the last boss. However, if you are not scoring, then in the end it does not matter if you are playing pretty, pass and move attacking football or sticking 10 men behind the ball and hoofing it forward to the big guy. The end result is the same, you don’t get the result and everyone leaves unsatisfied. We can have services with beautiful hymns and interesting talks with lovely illustrations and plenty of historical detail. However, unless God’s Word is clearly proclaimed and applied in a way that drives home then it’s like a football game with beautiful passing but no goals.