Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

What Urban Meyer would say to Pastors/Church leaders/Volunteers…

Here’s a blog posting from my friend Shawn Lovejoy… In light of many of us making New Years Resolutions & trying to “get it right” in 2010 – I thought this was too good to not share. While Shawn directs this to Pastors, I think everyone can glean a lot from this…

From Shawn Lovejoy’s Blog: News about Urban Meyer, the Florida gators football coach, has sent shock waves of every kind through the sports world over the last few days. How could a guy resign in the midst of a highly successful career? How could he renege on the same resignation within 24 hours? Regardless of your opinion on the whole deal, I think ALL PASTORS could learn something from all of this.

In fact, I think if Urban Meyer had a chance to speak to pastors right now, I think this is what he’d say to Pastors.

  • “Pastors: Don’t worry too much about things that don’t matter.”

I promise you that Urban Meyer was EMBARASSED that he had to be taken to the hospital for stress related symptoms after a football game.  Before we judge, pastors, I think if we’re honest, we tend to worry too much about things that don’t make a hill of a beans difference in the grand scheme of things. We worry way too much about lights, songs, buildings, illustrations, and what people think about us, and being edgy or contemporary.  God’s more concerned with us loving Him and loving people.  Urban Meyer resigned to focus on “faith and family”: Loving God and loving people. Regardless of what the future holds for him, he is learning NOT to sweat the small stuff. We could take some cues from Urban.

  • “Pastors: No matter how much you influence the lives of others, your most important job is being a spouse and parent.”

Here’s EXACTLY what Urban said in his resignation: “I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program…”. In other words: “ I’ve influenced the lives of HUNDREDS of  people, but my family has gotten leftovers.” Urban confessed to what his children said when he told them of his decision to resign: “Finally, we have our dad back!” WOW. I wonder how many pastors’ kids would be HAPPIER if their dads resigned today. If so, shame on us!  Pastors, if Urban could talk to us He would say: “Make your spouse and your kids your best ministry, not your leftover ministry.” Thanks for that challenge, Urban.

  • “Pastors: success will be ultimately determined by your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual vitality.”

According to ANYONE’S measurements, Urban Meyer has been one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football.  Meyer’s resume includes two national championships, two SEC titles, three SEC East crowns and three BCS bowls. The Sporting News recently named him “Coach of the Decade” after going 95-18 at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. HOWEVER, if Urban Meyer could talk to us as pastors, He would tell you that He doesn’t feel successful right now.    He’s basically told us in the last few days that while the numbers look great, what he’d really love to be successful at is his health:

    • Physically: Meyer, scarcely available for interviews in December, said last week he had lost “ridiculous amounts” of weight during the 2009 season because of illnesses and not eating. Quarterback Tim Tebow said recently that he warned Meyer to watch his health.
    • Emotionally: His doctor has told him repeatedly that his chest pains ARE stress related.  He’s tired, burned out, and discouraged because of his health.
    • Relationally: “He’s really worried he’s going to lose his family,” one staff source told the Orlando Sentinel.
    • Spiritually: Urban Meyer goes to church almost every Sunday. However, in his Resignation statement, He mentioned the desire to spend more time on “FAITH and family.” FAITH is evidently more than putting on our Sunday Best. Remember that, pastors.

Suffice to say, pastors, if Urban Meyer could and would address us today, he would have a lot to say; and we would have a lot to think about; and MAYBE a lot to repent of.  Thanks for the challenge, Urban.  You’re on the verge of getting it right. Don’t blow it. I prayed for you today.  We’ll be watching and learning from you; and so will THOUSANDS of young men and women: including me. I just hope that you’ll be able to find some pastors around you that will model the way for you.

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One response

  1. Debbie SEllmann

    Howard,
    This is a great message that you are passing along on your blog. It is so true that making your family your best and first ministry, not your leftover ministry. Thanks for passing it along!

    January 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm

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