“Huddle up!” was heard often in those Saturday and Sunday afternoon football games in the Leroy Price Memorial Park in Pyote, Texas in the mid-1970’s.
When the age range of your team is 8 – 18, it’s important to get on the same page. “Gerry, go left to the third tree and cut across the middle. Travis, go left and long. Greg-o, go right to the first tree and stop. I’ll hit whoever is open.”
The “no-huddle” offense wasn’t something we had heard of back then. Now, teams use it to try to get the upper hand by scoring quickly and by keeping the defense off balance and unable to run their practiced schemes and match-ups. (Doesn’t that sound like I know what I’m talking about?)
The “no-huddle” is, however, a short-term strategy because it is limited to the players on the field, depends on the insight of one really busy leader, and moves at a pace that is unsustainable over an extended period. It requires a ton of pre-no-huddle-huddles to prepare for the game.
The huddle may not be the most exciting part of the game (Wow! What an amazing huddle! I hope they replay it!), but it is the most strategic. Here’s why:
- It’s the place where everyone can catch a breath. It is not as much of a breather as a timeout, but at least everyone can be still for a few seconds.
2. It’s the place where everyone is on your side. Nobody in your huddle is trying to knock your head off. It’s the only injury-free zone.
3. It’s the place where those on your side can encourage you. They can pull the grass out of your facemask, readjust your shoulder pads, brush the dirt off your back, and give you the words you need to go back and do it again.
4. It’s the place where common goals are put into words. Everyone knows what play we are running next. Everyone knows what their job is, based on the play that is called.
5. It’s the place where physical, mental, and emotional energy is channeled into making the most of the moment at hand. All the strategy sessions, practice repetitions, playbook memorization, strength building, and trust in leadership results in real life execution.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Church activities and services are not the real game. They are huddles. (That should probably be the subject of another post: why churches fail to matter in their communities because they put all their focus on Sunday).
Our lives matter so much to God, that he wants us huddling regularly in preparation for real life. None of us can fulfill our purpose if we are consistently operating in “no-huddle” mode, because none of us has a purpose that is completely individual.
So, huddle up this week!