If you’re a college football fan, you’ve probably heard of the phrase “talking season.” It was coined by former coach Steve Spurrier to describe the time between the end of spring football practices and the football season in the fall. It’s aptly named: a dead period where nothing visible is occurring.
Since reporters have nothing to report on, they make up things to talk about for four months. Writers and talk show hosts release articles and podcasts like “Way-Too-Early Predictions of the National Championship,” “The Best Teams of All Time” and “Which Players Will Make the Biggest Improvement Over Last Year.”
Talking season is filled with projections, opinions, memories, gripes, hopes and fears. Talking season works, in part, because everyone loves to analyze, compare, and discuss strategy and effectiveness. Most have their preferred offensive or defensive schemes they want to promote. And of course, there are opinions about certain high-profile players or coaches, and opinions about those opinions.
“Talking season works, in part, because everyone loves to analyze, compare, and discuss strategy and effectiveness.”
It all makes for interesting dialog. Which is a plus, because talking season is, well … talk. Nothing’s really happening. Though there’s an appearance of activity, players and teams aren’t actually participating in a real game. If you’re a football fan, it’s better than having nothing. But it’s a far cry from the real deal.
When it comes to disciple-making, we have to guard ourselves against a similar season. It’s easy to get into talking mode and not actually do the work of making disciples.
I find myself facing this pressure all the time. As a society, we love to analyze, compare, and discuss strategy and effectiveness. If we’re fans of making disciples, we have our preferred approaches and methods we want to promote. And of course, there are opinions about certain high-profile leaders or practitioners, and opinions about those opinions.
“It’s easy to get into talking mode and not actually do the work of making disciples.”
It all makes for interesting dialog. Which can be helpful, but we have to remember that talking about disciple-making is, well … talk. It’s easy to talk about it while nothing’s really happening. There can be an appearance of activity without disciples and churches actually participating in real disciple-making. If you’re a follower of Jesus, it’s better than doing nothing. But it’s a far cry from the real deal.
I find myself in a season of personal conviction at the moment: Before talking about disciple-making I want to first invest time and energy in making a disciple. That way, I’ll have something to talk about when the time for talking comes.
“Though there’s an appearance of activity, disciples and churches aren’t actually participating in real disciple-making.”