Cassle has been the target of many Chiefs fans as of late. The press on him lately has been anything but positive. At one point in Sunday's game, a plane flew overhead pulling a banner
that said "we deserve better. Bench Cassel." Talk about a real pick me up before game time. Not exactly a Knute Rockne level motivator.
In the fourth quarter, Cassel was knocked unconscious on a play that resulted in the cheering of Kansas City fans. They were actually cheering over the fact he'd been injured.
Ever feel like you've been kicked when you're down? Ministry can be a lonely place. Sometimes, it even feels like others may revel in our disappointments. We many times don't know who we can talk to and it seems that in ministry, everything we feel is so deeply personal.
As I've learned more and more about this horrific story, I feel like in some ways, I've been there too. I've felt the loneliness that results from making a tough call or feeling
like no one else was in my corner. As pastors, we've got to come alongside our partners in ministry and build them up.
One of the real heroes in this story was offensive lineman Eric Winston. After the game, he went on record as saying, "We are athletes, OK? We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This is not the Roman Coliseum. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people . . . hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. Hey, if he’s not the best quarterback then he’s not the best quarterback and that’s OK, but he’s a person.
And he got knocked out in a game and we have 70,000 people cheering that he got
knocked out? Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus. Tell me I’m doing a bad job. Say I gotta protect him more. Do whatever you want. Say whatever you want. But if you are one of those people, one of those people that were out there cheering or even smiled when he got knocked out, I just want to let you know, and I want everybody to know that I think it’s sickening and disgusting.’’
Remember that though we are not in a game, the stakes are high, let's support one another in ministry as Winston did in the game of football.
1) Take care of one another: There will be times when we don't agree with the others on the team. Recognize the fact we are a team. We play for the same results.
2) Publicly show your support of each of your teammates. Though there may be times you don't agree, place that aside and speak only positively about your teammates.
3) Remember that, just as Winston reminded the KC fans, Cassel was a person; remember you're dealing with other people in ministry with very real feelings too.
4) Find someone this week who needs encouragement from you do what you can to build them up.
Career ministry may, at times, feel like the loneliest of callings and it may even feel that others enjoy watching your demise. Stand up for your teammates and realize that as a team, we will be far more effective if we do so.
I Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Remember, ours is a team sport. Live that way. Live like Eric Winston.
Are you Eric Winston to anyone? Do you have an Eric Winston in your life?