I have been a Cardinal Fan all my life. This week, I have been in St. Louis for a meeting with my peers. On Tuesday, one of those peers invited me to attend the Cardinal game with him. His niece works for the Cardinals and prior to the game, we were able to go on the field during batting practice. As a longtime Cardinal fan, I enjoyed being within 10 feet of Mark McGwire and Matt Holiday. At one point, Tony Larussa, the Cardinals Manager, and Red Schodenist, a Hall of Fame Cardinal Manager, walked over to the rope where I was standing. What a thrill to a Cardinal fan. (What will heaven be like?) As the game started a clip was shown with the slogan, Play Like a Cardinal.
Play Like A Cardinal. What does that mean and what are the principles that could be learned if we played like a Cardinal. Playing like a Cardinal has changed in my lifetime. During the 80’s, the Cardinals We’re Red Hot with Whitey. During that era, Busch Stadium grass was astroturf and the stadium dimensions were huge. Whitey Herzog put together a team based on speed, defense, and pitching. Today, at the new Busch Stadium, the dimensions are more favorable to big hits (home runs) and the field is natural grass. Play like a Cardinal is different today. I could speak of the Gashouse Gang from the 30’s, the great teams of the 40’s and 60’s. Play like a Cardinal changes but the basics remain….strong defense, great pitching, and offense that fits the context.
Just as the Cardinals, today’s churches certainly must adapt to an ever changing culture and environment. We certainly do not live in an Acts 2 Culture but in an Acts 17 culture. The America of today is must different than the America of my childhood. But the basics still remain. Churches will not grow and reach our culture without dynamic worship, open Bible Study/Community Groups (such as Sunday School), a process for discipleship, and a plan to involve people in missions and evangelism.