Now that I will be a pastor under appointment, one of the items on my to-do list is to acquire a copy of Football for Dummies so that I may learn more about this sport. The connection? Well, a pastor should be conversant in the popular culture of his/her congregation, and in almost anywhere in the U.S., that means sports. For my area of Florida, that means college football, pro football, college basketball, and pro basketball, in that order. Other areas may vary, particularly due to the placement of professional franchises, like the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins, and the Florida Marlins.
I have no intrinsic interest in watching sports. Left to my own devices, I would never watch a sporting event on TV or in person. But as a pastor, that is a luxury that I no longer have. Attendance of the local high school football games in my small town is now mandatory if I want to be engaged in the community. And checking out scores and games information on ESPN.com will now be a part of my daily routine.
It's part of the job. Now as I said, I don't like to watch sports. At MethoBlogCon one night, I found myself in the backseat of Theresa Coleman's ginormous SUV and when I mentioned this disinterest to the assembled group, Abi Carlisle-Wilke shot me a look like I had just confessed to some ghastly perversion (seriously). Abi, of course, comes from northern Alabama, where half of all baby boys are named after legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant -- and about a third of all baby girls. But I persisted and explained my business idea.
There is a hypothetical product that I would greatly value: a database that tied a church's membership directory to declared sports affiliations and current news about those teams. I could check it daily and see, for example, that my SPRC Chair's beloved Pittsburgh Penguins had gotten smashed by the New Jersey Devils, including a minute's worth of video clips from critical moments of the game. So I could whip out a Blackberry shortly before a meeting began say "Hey, Jack, it's a pity about the Penguins. But did you see that shot that Ryan Whitney got from behind the red line in the third quarter!" Now that's credibility. Every morning, I would be up-to-date on the sports news that my congregation considers critical, and in a very short period of time so that I can devote more of myself to other work, like writing sermons, home visitations, and playing on my PlayStation.
What do you think of my proposed invention?