This is a Football

Vince Lombardi

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi was famous for many things. He is known for telling his players, both seasoned veterans and new recruits, “This is a football” as he held  one up in front of them. He’d walk them out to the practice field and explain the yard markers and the goal of getting first downs. Lombardi believed that football was nothing more than blocking and tackling. If you do those right, you’ll win games. And he did.

Blocking and Tackling in your Bible Study Group

Sunday School or small-group Bible study is also based on some basics. If you “block and tackle” well, you’ll likely experience growth of the group and spiritual growth of the members. “It’s not rocket science” – I’ve heard that and said that about Sunday School work. But it is work. Here are some basics that you need to be accomplishing regularly in order to “move the ball down the field” in your small group.

  1. Tell others about Jesus – As the leader of a Bible study group, you’ll set the tone and the pace for evangelism in the group. If I was a stronger evangelist, and my group members saw that and caught that, we’d be a more evangelistic group. The teacher sets the pace for evangelism. But he or she also sets the pace for telling others about Jesus as lessons are taught. It is possible to tie every lesson back to the atoning work of Christ, which is another way to make sure the gospel story is being told and explained often.
  2. Contact members, guests, and absentees – This is a great reason to keep groups small! When I say contact members , guests, and absentees, the optimal goal is to contact every one of them every week. Contact members who were present. Contact guests. Contact those absentees who weren’t in the group. It’s work. It’s good ol’ blocking and tackling.
  3. Fellowship regularly – A group that plays together stays together. Go to lunch as a group. Divide the group, if it’s large, into “tables of eight,” and look for local opportunities to get together outside of class. A regular monthly fellowship opportunity is yet another basic of group life, and another kind of blocking and tackling.
  4. Serve together – Using the gifts and talents of group members in service projects is a way to build shared history, which is so important in group life. Encourage group members to serve as teachers in the church’s preschool, kids, or student Bible study groups. Adopt a local women’s shelter or homeless shelter and serve there together often.

Lomardi was famous for saying, “This is a football” to his players. He was famous for majoring on the basics. Some Bible study groups aren’t “scoring” because they’ve forgotten that group life really isn’t that hard – you just have to focus on a few of the basics.

Which one of the four items above would benefit your group the most if you started “blocking and tackling” with it?

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