Vince Lombardi is best known as the coach of the Green Bay Packers. Along with guys like John Wooden, Lombardi is recognized as one of the greatest coaches of all time. His quotes and one-liners have been used in a variety of settings to instill basic leadership and life principles.
At the start of every football season, Lombardi would do the same thing. He’d gather all the players — veterans and rookies alike — at mid-field and give the same speech. He would hold up a football and say, “Gentleman, this is a football.” He would go on to describe all the things you could do with a football: carry it, throw it, kick it. He would point to the end zone and remind the players that the ultimate goal was to move this football over those lines and to keep the other team from doing the same.
It was a classic speech on fundamentals.
No matter what level of accomplishment we might achieve, we can never stray too far from the fundamentals. When we do, we jeopardize our effectiveness and sustainability.
Every marriage will encounter a dry patch. When it does, that’s the time to focus again on fundamentals. Do the little things. Write notes. Say thank you. Pray together. Apologize.
When businesses get away from the fundamentals, they tend to find themselves wandering in no-man’s land. A salesman knows the fundamentals of selling: make calls, follow through, network.
The same is true in churches. The Bible prescribes the basic building blocks of a healthy church. These are not hidden in a secret formula. When a church strays from the fundamentals, it loses its moral authority and sense of divine enablement. Mission gets replaced by marketing.
Returning to fundamentals is always wise. When your spiritual life seems flat, return to fundamentals. When you don’t feel like reading your Bible, read your Bible anyway. It’s a commitment to the fundamentals that keep you prepared.
How are you doing with the fundamentals?