For the first time in the Colts last 227 games (you do the math-seriously, I”m not going to), Peyton Manning will not be playing the quarterback position. Perhaps even more amazing is Buccaneer defensive back Ronde Barber’s streak
now takes center stage. Seeing as Ronde is actually in there tackling people while Peyton rarely gets touched, I’m more impressed with the former. He just happens to be a Buccaneer….
Peyton’s streak has been a blessing. But one would wonder if at some points it has also been a curse? Some wonder if this could spell the end
of this Roman Empire-esque run for the Colts. But in this case, the problem is not Goths, immorality, infrastructure, or anything like that. It appears that if there is a collapse-and this is only a possibility-that one failure will stand out above the rest: failure to groom a successor for Manning.
In the article I linked to above, one aspect of a good employee/teammate is:
….a man’s true value to his employer is revealed by what’s accomplished when he’s not around. Well folks, it’s time to finally put that premise to the test.
On Sunday, we’ll finally see what happens when Peyton Manning doesn’t step onto the field. We’ll see what happens when a team only keeps 2 quarterbacks on the roster for years and doesn’t develop any new talent. But not all teams with Iron Man quarterbacks have fallen prey to the failure to address the need for new leadership. Green Bay drafted a quarterback you may have heard of named Aaron Rogers (fresh off a Super Bowl win-even though the Pack had the same record as the Bucs last year) and gave him time to develop before Brett Favre “diva-ed” his way out of there.
Peyton Manning Syndrome happens in churches all the time. Someone is talented at preaching, teaching, leading a small group bible study, playing music, evangelizing, etc….For years that person just does what he/she does best. But eventually that person will die, go to college, move away, or change churches.
As pastors and church members, I think we always need to think a few years out. Who can I train to do what I do so that we’ll presently be multiplying ministry (as opposed to simply maintaining) as well as protecting ourselves for unseen transitions? Now I’m not referring to programs. Some programs need to die. I’m talking about people ministering the gospel to each other in in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Who else has gifts similar to yours? Can be they be trained to assist or eventually replace you to pursue more personal ministry?
A pastor and member’s true “worth” (I’m not arguing some folks are essentially more important) to the church is probably seen more in their temporary absence (as they step aside and share leadership) than in their conspicuous presence. The church needs the gifts of its members. But in some way, the less dependent a church is on ONE person here and there-unless that person is the God/Man Jesus-the healthier and prosperous that church is and will be.
Now most of this falls on the church leadership to think more like the Green Bay Packers than the Indianapolis Colts: to always be thinking 2-3 years down the road. Nevertheless, members can serve in the same way by trying to raise up replacements or assistants which will then open up new opportunities for them or for new-comers.