It was during the early years of the National Football League. As the second quarter ended in the championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants, Green Bay Coach Curly Lambeau thought about what to say. This would be one of the most important chalk talks of his career. With the Packers losing 16-14, the players counted on him for a revised game plan. Unfortunately, Lambeau never gave that all-important halftime talk. He got lost in thought on his way to the locker room. He opened the door to what he thought was the clubhouse and wound up on the street. Before he realized his error, the door slammed shut behind him. The coach was locked out. Lambeau pounded on the door, but it did no good. Then he raced to the nearest gate. The security guard refused to let him in. “If you’re the coach, what are you doing out here on the sidewalk?” the guard sneered. Lambeau hustled off to another gate and another guard. But no amount of pleas or threats could get him in there either. The second guard shoved him away saying, “Yeah, sure, and I’m the King of England.” Meanwhile, back in the locker room, the Packers were wondering where their coach went. As the halftime minutes went by, the puzzled players waited. They couldn’t agree on a new game plan. By this time, their angry, red-faced coach had charged the main gate, only to be stopped once again. Screaming at the top of his lungs, Lambeau attracted a big crowd, including some reporters. The reporters recognized Lambeau right away. They convinced the guards that he was indeed the Green Bay coach. By the time he reached the locker room, though, the second half was about to begin. Without Lambeau’s instructions, the Packers faltered in the last two quarters and lost the championship 23-17.
One of the most important themes in society today is Leadership. Every corporation, every institution, yearns for a strong effective leader. Maybe you remember when Chrysler Corporation was on the economic ropes, nearly bankrupt. Then Lee Iacocca was hired to save this troubled company. Within five years Chrysler experienced a profit of 925 million dollars! That’sLeadership! We wonder sometimes how anyone can ever justify the large salaries that are paid to corporate CEOs. The answer is that Leadership makes or breaks any organization. No organization is stronger than its leader.
The Green Bay Packers lost a championship because their leader was locked out of the stadium. If we, the church of Jesus Christ, fail, it will be because we have locked Christ out.