Yes indeed, Brett Favre is coming to the Minnesota Vikings. Who would have thought?
Of course, many of you know that I grew up in Central Wisconsin where they literally worship the Packers. As pastor Lombardi once said… I mean coach Lombardi: “The three most important things in life are family, religion, and the Green bay Packers.” And this was really serious. (Of course, you have to live there to understand it…& part of it is because there’s not much to do there : ) But the vortex of Packer football is almost impossible to resist if you really want any friends. By the time I left Marshfield, I had experienced 8 solid seasons without missing a single game… (even my wife became a regular fan).
Even more, I had made numerous pilgrimages to Lambeau… one of which was that Monday night Packer-Viking game where the Pack won in overtime (you know, that game when it was pouring rain & the ball bounced off of Antonio Freeman’s back shoulder then landed in his hands for the touchdown)?? I still tear up when I think about that. (& if you’re a Viking fan, you probably do too).
So when we decided to plant a church in Minneapolis, the #1 question from our previous church was: “How are you planning on staying true to the green and gold while living there?” I mean, people were truly concerned for my NFL salvation. I even had church members from Wisconsin offering to buy Sunday ticket on Directv so I would never miss a Packer game (it was offered like missionary support).
But I kept telling the people: Listen church, I cannot antagonize the people of Minneapolis and still minister to them. I’ve got to be willing to open my heart to Viking fans. Yet, their only solace was when I told them that I would adopt the Vikings like Abraham adopted Ishmael. I could love both of them as my sons, but only one team came with the Promise… (specifically referring to Favre). So you could imagine my shock when I heard that Favre was coming! It felt like God was reconciling my two worlds. (I’ve actually had dreams that Favre and I became good friends).
Of course, I was pretty angry when the Packers gave Favre the boot. Sure, he put them in an awkward position; but, for goodness sakes… he’s not only a legend but he brought them to the NFC championship only months earlier. I actually became a Jets fan for a year just to get over it.
So here’s the cool part. Rumor has it that his daughter is coming to Mpls for college. And you all know that Substance and college students are like chocolate and peanut butter. Of course, Favre’s daughter is not coming to Substance, as far as I know (that was just a gimmick); BUT, I beguiled you with good purpose… Prayer.
In a week in a half we are launching a new Substance campus at Northwestern! And Substance, this is our Super-bowl moment; because, we’re estimating that we are going to grow by around 400 people in the coming 2 months! So we need you to be praying like never before. We cannot afford to cruise into the fall without being prayed up.
And, I suppose we could pray for Wisconsin too. After all, Favre coming over here is nothing short of a state-wide church split. So, Viking fans… I hope that you lend a compassionate hand towards our conflicted Wisconsin brothers. After all… good things do come from Wisconsin… Right?