Every four years, when the World Cup rolls around I think about 3 things:
1. I wish our country had a sport that united the whole country like the intensity you see when France played Italy in the finals.
2. Didn’t I once write a post about the World Cup?
3. I want to, want to be crazy about the World Cup.
I don’t know if that first idea is fixable. I think because of the size of our country we divide into small mini countries or as some people might call them, “states.” I think Alabama vs. Auburn or Duke vs. UNC might be as close as we get to two nations fighting each other in sports. (Please post your school’s rivalry in the comments below as I am positive I missed at least 47 other good examples.)
To the second idea, the answer is “yes.” I did write about vuvuzelas, which is why I’m updating that classic post as we speak.
And the third idea? Well for the first time in my life, I have to admit, the World Cup is fantastic!
For years, I just couldn’t get into the world cup. I grew up playing soccer. I thought it was a beautiful game. I wished our country shut down like other countries on the day our team played. There’s no doubt that I wanted to be caught up in the feverish pitch of the World Cup.
For most of my life, the World Cup kind of felt like all the shows your friends want you to watch but you haven’t yet. I was exhausted at how often I had to tell people I hadn’t watched Mad Men. I wanted to like the World Cup games, I felt like I should, but I just didn’t yet. Until now.
I think it was the Spain versus the Netherlands that sealed the deal for me. That diving header broke through all my pent up soccer cynicism. I’m in. The World Cup is awesome.
What I do kind of miss about this World Cup is the vuvuzela, the tiny plastic horn that appears to have been minted in the very mines of Mordor. It was all the rage in South Africa during the last World Cup but appears to have gone on hiatus in Brazil. Capable of creating a thick blanket of drunken wasp sound in the entire stadium, the vuvuzela is unstoppable. Rather than fight it and complain as many others tend to do, I think we should embrace it and bring it to church.
Here are three ways we could employ the vuvuzela at church:
1. Give one to every youth minister.
Forget acoustic guitars and even cowbells, has there ever been an instrument better suited to youth ministry? A kid asks for a precise definition of “virginity” cause they want to redefine the boundaries? Blast them with the vuvuzela. The elders get unruly about how youth group is being run? Here comes some brand new flavor in your ear, vuvuzela. College kids come back and try to awkwardly date the high school sophomores? Vuvuzela! It works on so many levels it makes my teeth hurt. (And they’re cheap! I got the image of this one on Amazon. They cost less than $20. Perfect for the youth ministry total annual budget which is usually $25.)
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2. Play it during baptisms.
I love when a Sunday School class or small group claps and cheers for a friend getting baptized, but what if instead they got to play the vuvuzela? How fantastic would that be? Imagine a wave of vuvuzela rising up from the sanctuary as someone rose up out of the water. That would be a game changer as far as I am concerned.
3. Drive home sermon points.
I don’t necessarily love the guy who screams “Jesssssusssss” in your cochlea at concerts during random intervals. But I do like the guy who says, “Amen” when the pastor cranks it out of the park on a particular sermon illustration or point. What if instead of just words, you could show your approval of a sermon with a steady screech of sweet, sweet vuvuzela?
I have to believe there are other ways we could weave this delightful instrument, dare I say “Angel’s Horn,” into church. It’s possible this is what the angels played when they awoke the shepherds at Christ’s birth. I think I read that in the message version of the Bible.
But what about you? How would you bring a bit of the World Cup to your church? Horn? Body paint? Penalty kicks?
How would you World Cup your church?