Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes get an interview after their Super Bowl win. Screen grab from YouTube/NFL
The Kansas City Chiefs finished a historic march to the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night in getting their first Super Bowl win in 50 years. Back then Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram urged his offense – led by likewise Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson – to keep matriculating the ball down the field. This season’s version of the Chiefs had little problem doing that as well. In the biggest game of their lives, though, they faltered for the most part.
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions in a game for the first time all year. The offense sputtered for only 175 years before its final three drives. With 8:12 remaining, Kansas City was behind 10 points and it looked like head coach Andy Reid would remain the best at his profession who still hadn’t won a championship.
But then the Chiefs came to life. They reeled off three touchdowns. Cannons on the field boomed confetti of red and gold instead of scarlet and gold. For the third time in these playoffs, Kansas City came back from a double-digit deficit to win.
It proves a life truth that how we start isn’t as important as how we finish. Of course, they’re both important. We all want to get off on the right foot. But it’s a lot easier to focus more on starting a new project or working to achieve a new goal before the actual work sets in. It becomes real that making those goals often requires a change of habits or how we look at a situation.
Thom Rainer recently wrote about the trend of increasing numbers of retired pastors. A culture that worships youth often makes the mistake of not gleaning from the wisdom of those who have been there and done that.
Youth tends to be king among pastor search committees as well. The joke goes that churches want a pastor who is 40 with 30 years of experience. Consider a 2017 Barna study finding that the average age of pastors from 1992 had actually increased by ten years. Several factors contribute, such as a longer life span and fewer young people entering the ministry. But what it sets up are more churches hesitant to consider the contributions – not just past but current – provided through our elders.
On the other side, there’s an equal danger to missing a younger perspective that leads to success. Andy Reid is 61 years old. His quarterback, Mahomes, just became the youngest Super Bowl MVP in history (at 24 years, 138 days supplanting Emmitt Smith, who was 24 years, 260 days). It took trust from the both of them to get the win.
It’s not uncommon for me to reach out to my predecessor, Gerald Harris, when I want his opinion regarding The Christian Index. Hiring a Millennial has become a great asset not just for The Index’s social media accounts but to get a better idea on the perception of a younger generation. Recently we’ve partnered with two Georgia Baptist pastors who are going to help build Index coverage in specific areas. One reason, as I told them, is that we need their eyes – their viewpoints – in order to do our job better.
Each spring I gravitate to reading through the Book of Acts. This started back when I was a college student and member of the BCM. In the years I prepared to go on summer missions I’d read where the early church began and marvel at their courage and boldness. I’d also think about how there was a particular level of messiness to those early believers. They didn’t always agree. Sometimes they even went their separate ways while acknowledging their oneness in Christ.
Those traits have continued with the church today. We fight and disagree. Depending on who you talk to, those fights carry different weights of importance. Our prayer and desire, though, should be that we finish well. See the goal, work together toward it, and get the win.
Scott Barkley serves as editor of The Christian Index.