Church as the locker room

Here is a rough sketch of church with a more contemporary metaphor in American culture. I am only talking about metaphor as a means to communicate with culture without compromising the reality of church that the metaphor points to. Please comment and add input.

I’ve been thinking about my American culture. Sports is the recipient of a lot of American brain space and wallets and entertainment. Sheep herding, in contrast is not.
2 Timothy 2:5, Paul makes a rare Biblical reference to athletes, Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (HCSV), in addition to references to soldiers and farmers. There already is a Salvation Army. What would church look like if presented as a team instead of a herd? And how would that be conveyed?

I’m not claiming to be the first with this idea, nor the last. But I am not personally familiar with it and so I’m playing with it in my mind. Do Americans understand what a shepherd does? Do Americans understand what a coach does? Church leaders in America don’t regularly refer to themselves as shepherds, but by that Latin word for shepherd, pastor. Hence, the metaphor is lost and the word carries its own baggage. But is the load carried by the word “coach,” as applied in church, minimal?

Try this on for size.
The assistant coach (pastor) inspires the team (congregation) in the locker room (sanctuary) before they go out on the field (the world). The coach reviews the strategy in the playbook (Bible). The head coach is Jesus. Everyone is taught how to understand the head coach’s plays for themselves. There perhaps could be other staff coaches who have specialized fields. Perhaps smaller huddles could happen in the locker room and on the field through the week, as seen in my other church proposal based on Nehemiah 8 (a, b, c, d).

The concern
Where does awe and worship fit in?
Teams have “fight” songs. Worship in song is not a problem. I think awe comes from a presentation of Jesus as champion. He succeeded. He won. He used the most brilliant play because he was supported by the most powerful God.

Welcome to a church named The Huddle, or The Locker Room, or Team Jesus...

See some other thoughts on church and missions.


Jeremy Dalton said…
Good food for thought. I like the metaphor.
jpu said…
Thanks for stopping by JD. and thanks for the affirmation.
God is good

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