Playing Hurt

I was at C3 this year and there was a recurring theme that I think Ed Young started. He talked about playing hurt. Championship players play hurt. Thats what makes them champions. I’ve seen a few instances of that this week. I was at Elevation Church in Charlotte NC last week and at 5:00 am the trailers rolled up to the school and the volunteers poured out of their vehicles. The first guy who took something off the trailer was this guy:

Elevation Volunteer

Shame on me for not remembering his name. But I remember what he did. He had a leg injury and could barely walk. It was painful to watch. He carried in tons of boxes, set up lots of equipment, and when the sound wasn’t working right – he ran – hobbling on one leg – to fix a problem during rehearsal. He literally hopped on one leg as fast as he could down the 100′ aisle. He was playing hurt. But he played to win! This is why Elevation has 1800+ people after only 18 months or so.

Today I saw someone play hurt again. Our worship Leader, Kevin Burns, lost his father Monday night. He called me Tuesday morning to tell me the sad news. He made sure our worship team was ready to go, and then went to comfort his mom and mourn his loss. The funeral was Thursday. Saturday he came home, held a two hour worship rehearsal, finished shooting the video I posted earlier, finished editing and rendering it, and then led worship this morning while his wife had to go home with a sick child.

And I would say that this morning’s worship at Crosspoint was probably the best we’ve ever done. We aren’t as big as some of the big kids on the block – but we are just as good and just as passionate. Just thought I’d throw that in.

Anyway – I preached after having this wreck Tuesday – probably thinking more about Kevin and his Dad than driving – I’m sore and a little hurt – but I saw people play REALLY hurt over the last 2 weeks.

So here’s the punch line. What’s your excuse for not doing whatever it takes to see people connect with Jesus in an authentic, relevant, or however you do it way? I know some of you are like – they hurt me at my last church. So what! Get over it. But that person hurt me by saying…So what. Get over it and get in the game. But at my church…stop whining and start running. But you don’t understand. Jesus didn’t come down off a cross because it hurt a little. He took the beating, he took the nails, and he died so you could live. Shut up, stop complaining, pick up the ball and run with it. Carry it as far as you can and when you get knocked down – get back up and get in the game and when you get a chance – kick the devil in the nuts – and keep playing.

You want to be real – you want to be authentic – you want to show people your faith is real. Then you play hurt. Perry Noble plays hurt. T.D. Jakes plays hurt. Steven Furtick plays hurt. Craig Groeshel plays hurt. Ed Young plays hurt. Mark Driscoll plays hurt. Andy Stanley plays hurt. Paul played hurt. Stop whining about where it hurts and play the best you can play for Jesus.


4 thoughts on “Playing Hurt

  1. This is my brother Lance Daniel and my family and I also attend Elevation (the greatest church ever I might add). You hit it on the nose guys like Lance, and let me tell you I have never seen so many dedicated worker for the greater good (God Work), they are the reason that Elevation has 1800 + every sunday after a little over a year. Not to mention a pastor like Pastor Steven Furtick, and our staff who are so in touch with God. Thank you for noticing us here in Charlotte, NC. God Bless!!!

  2. Well, this is all good and makes sense, but is this something that you would want to scream at someone who just lost their spouse of 32 years? Would you tell this (as described above) to someone who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer and has three children under the age of 4 and is having trouble reconciling their faith with this devastation? You’d tell them to “kick the devil in the nuts” and get back in the game? Wouldn’t you rather determine if this kind of advice is agreeable with their personality? I mean depending on the person, some people react favorably with a “Kick the devil in the nuts” rally cry. Some people react more favorably with, “This must come as a tremendous shock! I’m going stand by your side and help you get a handle on this. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll be here to help you shoulder this time in your life.”

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