Why can't church be like football?

The Addison brothers
The Addison brothers

One hundred and eighty boys eagerly awaited their medals. Proud mums and dads, grandmas and grandpas, poised to take that commemorative snap. The annual AusKick awards—sponsored of course by MacDonalds.

I was one of those proud dads. I watched as each of the one hundred and eighty players took their turn at being heroes on the stage. Up they ran to the cheers of the crowd. Onto the stage. Clunk, clunk, clunk in their boots. A handshake, a medal, the certificate of achievement. The Addison brothers aged six and eight had worked all through the winter for these awards. They knew what they had to do to get them:

Lachlan (level one)—The Aussie Footballer Award.

Run fast for ten metres and pick up a ball with two hands

Handball a football correctly

Mark (catch) a ball on his chest tossed from three metres

Kick a ball through the goals from five meters with the preferred foot.

Robert (level two)—The Tackler Award.

Run quickly for 40 meters bouncing the ball every ten metres

Mark (catch) a ball in the hands in front of the body from three metres

Kick a goal from seven metres with the preferred foot and from six metres with the other foot.

Every boy who strode the platform that morning knew what success looked like. From level one to level seven, they knew the skills they had to master.

Developing champions isn't complicated. All you need is an environment where champions emerge. Movements intentionally create environments where their champions can emerge. And everyone is invited to play.