Football season is upon us. So begins that great past time activity – Monday morning quarterbacking! It is something pastors are familiar with only theirs is called Sunday afternoon pulpit preaching.
This activity occurs when the game or sermon has been experienced and at the next available gathering time for fans or congregation members, attention focuses on what the coaches and quarterbacks and preachers and ministers “should” have done. It is a time when everyone has an opinion about what happened even though none were actually on the field or in the pulpit.
Learning can happen in the stands or easy chairs, and the pews. But be mindful not to critique from the sidelines or the back pew unless you’re ready to get on the field or in the pulpit to show how your observations should be taken and how they can improve the game or message.
Getting on the field can take many forms. I don’t mean you actually have to make it as a player or a coach, or be ordained as an elder or deacon. If your advice is good enough to be shared, share it, not just with other fans but with the team leadership or church leadership. Dialogue (two-way communication) is important in this day and age of social media isolation and selfies.
Yet remember the three rules of sharing one’s opinion.
- Is it relevant?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
Dear Lord, help us to share what we know with others in a way that is both helpful and gracious. Let us not just critique for the sake of gossip but to be helpful. Help us to listen and watch carefully so that we might know of what we speak when we talk. Amen.