FENTON, MI – Someone reported that an average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes. Do you find that unbelievable? I did at first, but it’s true.
Consider this: It is reported that most professional football teams play between 60-70 plays per game with each play lasting a mere 6-7 seconds. That further verifies that when we watch those gridiron matches that we are actually watching a lot of things other than football. How does that make you feel?
Three hours of other things and only 11 minutes of actual game time. Yet millions of people anticipate, prepare, watch, and talk about the aftermath of football games, day after day, throughout our country. Owners spend millions trying to make their teams better. Superior athletes work hard to become one of the elite players wearing pads while running up and down a field 100 yards long.
I will admit it. Despite the obvious waste of time, I still like football better than other sports. I enjoy the sense of anticipation with every play. Special teams might return a punt or kick the entire length of the field. Defense might cause a turnover that will change the momentum of the game. The quarterback and receiver might connect on a seemingly impossible catch for six points. Twenty-two men completing their respective assignments to either advance or impede the football. Can the game be that simple?!
As we approach the celebration of Christmas and the threshold of a new year, let’s consider the impact of 11 minutes of game time and the playing time of 6-7 seconds. I’m not talking about football any more; I’m talking about spiritual matters. At the annual state convention, Pastor Mike Durbin, (firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-714-1907) introduced an outstanding outreach method unique to Michigan. You can locate it at bscm.org/mimoment - it uses the two peninsulas and the Mackinac Bridge to express the good news of Jesus Christ. There are items to download and use in the church or with a small group. Mike will come to the church or association, and lead a training event if you invite him.
I believe Mike has created an outstanding witnessing method that is easy to use, and will be interesting to those who need Christ. The outline is simple:
I also think the method is attractive because it uses audio and video recordings that anyone can download using their smartphone. Imagine all of the people in the church prayed-up and prepared for an 11 minute discussion. If all of the members of the churches started using this method throughout the state, it would change our communities. Imagine what would happen if members of the church dedicated certain evenings to go out and share their faith with others.
One of the easiest, low-risk ways to use this system is to pass someone a business card. That might take 6-7 seconds. Sound familiar? That interaction, lasting mere seconds, could be a game-changer for someone’s eternity. You or someone in the church, having downloaded their testimony on audio or video format, can pass a business card onto someone asking them, “I know you don’t have time now, but when you do, would you listen or watch this link on the card?” That request would only take 6-7 seconds.
In high school, Mike and I played football. Though we were in the same graduating class of 77, Mike’s athletic ability gave him an edge. For example, Mike played on the JV Team while I played on the Freshmen Team. It was fun watching him run out of the backfield. Sometimes he carried the football, at other times he blocked for another running back. Regardless of his assignment, Mike gave it his all. I am confident you will find this new resource he’s created to be an invaluable tool for sharing Christ to those around you.
Please, call or write to Mike asking him to help you advance the good news of Jesus Christ where you live, play, and work. Your 11 minutes and broken into 6-7 seconds moments will make the difference in someone’s life.
For more information, visit bscm.org/mimoment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.