Friday, October 26, 2012

"Desire" Chapel Talk Outline

Below is another in a series of chapel talk outlines. This one was delivered last Saturday morning prior to the Salukis’ 38-21 victory over the Football Championship Subdivision 14th ranked Youngstown State University Penguins. The Head Coach’s weekly theme was, “Desire.”

1. Introduction to the idea of “desire” and its importance to achievement in any of life’s endeavors.

2. We all stood and took the hands of those at our tables to say, “The Lord’s Prayer” together.

3. “Desire”

a. What are your greatest desires? A championship? The love of a good woman? Success in the classroom and in your career? A family? A legacy, something you achieve that will outlast you?

b. How strongly do you desire those things?

c. The value of those desires and the strength with which you pursue them will greatly affect your life’s achievements.

d. Great desires, those which have long-lasting effects, are worthy of the effort expended.

4. Read the text – Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

a. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. When our desires, the things for which we hope, are delayed in fulfillment our hearts grow sick, weak, powerless and tired.

b. Desire fulfilled is a tree of life. The greatest stuff in life hangs like fruit on a tree when our desires are fulfilled. It’s sweet, satisfying and rich. (Personal examples of such desires fulfilled were inserted here.)

c. The nature and quantity of that fruit is determined by the value of our desires and how strongly we pursue them. Be sure that your desires are wisely chosen and go after them powerfully.

5. Here is a list of some valuable desires for our team today:

a. Win # __ for our team.

b. A stingy defense.

c. A productive offense.

d. An opportunistic set of special teams.

e. Another step toward a conference championship.

f. A powerful victory for “The Team.”

6. The question to be answered at __:__ today is, “How badly do we want to fulfill these desires?” Let’s resolve to pursue them strongly and to then taste the fruit hanging from this day’s tree of life.

7. Prayer to close the chapel.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chaplains Roundtable Update

This is an update on the Chaplains Roundtable events coming up this fall in Indianapolis, IN (USA) and Lansing, MI (USA). These are excellent events for learning, networking and encouragement. There are dozens of men and women who serve as chaplains in attendance at each. There are solid presentations made and there is plenty of time to network, to share ideas and to gather resources from others.

It is entirely driven by our colleagues and includes chaplains from high school and collegiate sports, from major and minor league baseball, from motor racing, from ice hockey and certainly some I have forgotten. If you’re in driving distance of either (I have made the 8 hour drive to Lansing three times), please make plans to attend.

2012 Chaplains Roundtable Update

Are you registered for the 2012 Indy Chaplains Roundtable? The Lord has provided outstanding speakers and great resources once again this year. We have a growing list of attendees but I want to make sure to keep this opportunity before you. Be sure and register's free and well worth a day to experience some tremendous challenge from God's Word, outstanding networking opportunities and of course, encouraging fellowship.

The Indy Roundtable is Wednesday, November 7th at Traders Point Christian Church.

And don't forget about the 2012 Lansing Chaplain's Roundtable which will be Tuesday, December 11th at South Church.

Your only cost is lunch which will be provided. Sign up today at:

I trust you will be with us. See you soon.

Bill Houston

Chaplains Roundtable Ministry

J.D. Collins - Indy Chaplains Roundtable Speaker
Commissioner of the Crossroads Athletic Conference & Former Division I Basketball Referee

J.D. has been with us at the Indy Roundtable on other occasions but will share the speakers platform this year with great insight on "Ministry Through Mentoring."

Paul Allen - Lansing Chaplains Roundtable Speaker
Hockey Ministries International

Paul Allen was a pastor in the Toronto area for nearly 20 years and has been invovled in hockey chaplaincy for nearly a decade. Paul has been part of the Lansing Chaplains Roundtable before...but this year, we have the privilege of hearing his heart as one of our featured speakers. He will address the topic "Ministry in Crisis Situations."

Game Plan for Life by Joe Gibbs

Each attendee will receive a copy of Game Plan for Life by Joe Gibbs. Zondervan Publishing has once again come through with an outstanding resource you will refer to time and time again.  The Game Plan for Life Bible will reveal God’s perspective in a practical, engaging way. Joe Gibbs writes realistic, accessible notes about God’s perspective on the everyday life issues men struggle with most. This hardcover NIV Bible gives you the tools you need to build a solid, God-honoring game plan for your life.

Dr. James Jackson - Chaplain, Indiana Pacers
Dr. Jackson is a dynamic speaker and will be joining us for his first Indianapolis Chaplains Roundtable.

Alan Seaborn - Winning at Home Ministries
Alan will be attending his first Lansing Chaplains Roundtable. You'll not want to miss his challenge as he looks at the topic "Ministry to Those Impacted by the Breakdown of the Family."

Paul Kobylarz - Pastor & Former Pro-Hockey Player
Paul has a contagious heart for sports ministry. He will be sharing at his first Indy Chaplains Roundtable. No doubt we will hear of his ministry opportunities in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Hotel Information for Indianapolis
If you are interested in hotel accommodations for Tuesday, November 6th in Indy, please be aware that Trader's Point Christian Church has a working agreement with Hilton Garden Inn on the Northwest Side of the city. Just mention Trader's point and you will receive a special rate. Hotel reservations can be made by following this link...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ministry Methods from College Football

As we are now half way through another college football season, I thought I’d share some of the simple, but effective methods of ministry which I have used across now 19 seasons with the Football Salukis. These are not terribly difficult nor costly in terms of cash. They can be rather risky for your heart and your ego as they expose the user to emotional trauma and lead you to love people who are sometimes rather unlovely. Please feel free to contact me for discussion of these if you would like. I’m happy to share.

1) Devotional thoughts printed onto personal stationery and distributed at the team’s pre-game meal. When the team gathers for its pre-game meal, I have a devotional thought prepared for them, printed onto my personal stationery in letter form. It includes the date, the team’s theme for the season, the devotion and finally it is signed at the bottom. This form makes it much more personal to the readers than a simple devotional on paper. I have heard from several players over the years that they had saved each of these from their whole playing careers.

2) Pre-game chapel talks. This is a most common form for ministry in the USA among football teams. It usually looks like a talk which parallels the team’s situation and a scriptural principle or narrative with application being made from the scripture to the day’s competition. These usually take place during a team chapel which could be the evening before the game or the morning prior to the game. It’s very convenient to do these events immediately prior to a team’s meal together. This way it is very convenient as the team is coming there anyway. I would suggest that brevity is an important value for these. I never speak for more than five minutes.

3) Visits to practice. During the week of practice, I make it a point to visit at least a couple of times. My entire agenda is to observe, to converse and to listen. I am there to gather information, to perceive the mood and tone of practice and the coaching staff, to hear concerns expressed by anyone who approaches me and to pray for anyone who asks that of me. I usually speak with the athletic trainer as he knows everyone’s health concerns, injury status, etc… Being at practice when the hard work gets done, the fans are absent and the lights are not shining wins me favor with the players and communicates commitment that simply showing up on game day can never accomplish.

4) Pre-game intercession. Between the team chapel and pre-game meal and kickoff, there is a terribly long and stressful period of waiting. It seems to take forever for this three and one half hours to elapse. One productive thing to do in this time is to pray for the players, coaches, officials and opponents in this day’s game. I generally pray for our individual players either by number, name and responsibility or pray for them in groups. That is I would pray for the quarterbacks, running backs, linebackers, safeties, etc… I never pray for wins, but I do pray for the players to be at their best, to be great teammates, for the coaches to lead wisely and to have great insight, for the officials to do their jobs well, for our opponents to be free from injury and to compete strongly and honorably.

5) Sideline presence and prayer. As I have been privileged to be on our team’s sideline for the past 17 seasons, it has given me numerous occasions to pray for players on the field to calm their nerves, to consecrate their competition, to appeal for healing for an injury, to encourage and to challenge. I also work to encourage and to lead the team’s attitude through encouragement and appealing to their hearts.

6) Collective prayer. In most of our seasons, our team has prayed the Lord’s Prayer in the locker room both before and after each game. This season, we are also saying it at the beginning of each team chapel. During some seasons in the past, we have taken time during team chapels to invite various players and coaches to pray aloud for various sections of the team or for their concerns on game day. By praying together, they experience unity and community in ways foreign to most. They also hear models of prayer from their teammates and coaches which can shape how they experience the Lord’s presence and help them learn to pray.

7) Occasional guests at chapel. On occasion, with specific purposes in mind, I will invite someone to join me at our pre-game chapel. Sometimes this person is invited to speak with our team and other times simply to lend his presence to this community. When the guest is to speak, I make sure he knows the length of time allowed for his talk and my expectations for it. When the guest is simply there to be seen, I introduce him and tell the team why he is someone they should meet. At tomorrow’s chapel, we will have both. The guest speaker will be a local high school teacher and coach who can both deliver on a talk and is a solid model of what it looks like to be a Christian coach, a man, a husband and father. The other guest will be my father. I simply want our young men to see that it’s possible for a 56 year old man to have a significant relationship with his 82 year old father. Such generational integrity of family is terribly foreign to most of our team.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chapel Talk Outlines - The Team

One of our colleagues asked last weekend that I share more of the chapel talk outlines from this season’s series, “The Team.” I may share more as I develop them this season. Please feel free to use them as you will.

Sacrifice and Commitment

1) Prayer

2) To be a _____________ player, a member of this team, will require sacrifice and commitment.

3) Luke 9:57-62 (read the text aloud)

4) Jesus said that to follow Him would be:

a. Uncomfortable – physical commitment and sacrifice

b. Inconvenient – hours of sacrifice and commitment

c. Exclusive – most will not make the sacrifice nor commitment

5) The Kingdom of God is Jesus’ team

6) This team - __________________ will require sacrifice and commitment. It will be:

a. Uncomfortable – physical commitment and sacrifice

b. Inconvenient – hours of sacrifice and commitment

c. Exclusive – most will not make the sacrifice nor commitment

7) There are no participation medals at this level of sport. To achieve and to win real rewards requires sacrifice and commitment.

8) Pray


1) Prayer

2) Introduction –

a. Jim Hart played quarterback for the SIU Salukis and then in the NFL from 1966-1984.

b. He played in 201 games and passed for over 34,000 yards.

c. He was selected for the Pro Bowl 4 times and was the 1974 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

3) He was a great player and a great teammate.

4) He spoke to a Saluki Football chapel in 1994 and told us of his favorite scripture – Philippians 2:3-4.

5) Read Philippians 2:3-4 aloud.

6) For us to be the team we need to be to experience success today will require these attitudes:

a. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.

b. Humbly think of others as better than yourself.

c. Don’t only look to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

7) This is what it means to be “The Team.”

8) This is what will lead us to success today and all season.

9) Prayer


1) Intro – as we continue the process of becoming the team we know we can be, our unity will be tested.

a. When adversity hits us, will we remain unified or will we fracture into finger pointing, placing blame and selfishly protect ourselves?

b. I believe we will choose unity, loyalty and we will each value the team most highly.

c. When we do, we’ll experience the best of college football and life.

2) Prayer

3) Read Psalm 133 aloud – this is a song of Ascents which people would have sung on their way up to Jerusalem for festivals.

4) It is good and pleasant for brothers to dwell together in unity.

a. Good = qualities and values

b. Pleasant = aesthetics and sensory appeal

5) It’s like precious oil

a. On the head

b. Down Aaron’s beard

c. Dripping off his clothes

d. Symbolic of the presence of God

e. This is good!

6) It’s like Gatorade

a. Poured over the Head Coach’s head at the end of a game

b. In a championship game

c. Down from his moustache

d. Dripping from his team gear

e. This is good!

7) It’s like the dew of Hermon

a. Water flowing down and making things grow

b. Refreshing their favorite place

c. God has blessed us with life forever

d. This is pleasant!

8) Like cool, fall air

a. Flows into a stadium

b. Refreshing – “This is football weather!”

c. God has blessed us with life – Coach Marv Levy, “Where else would you rather be?”

d. This is awesome!

9) We experience these things, the good and the pleasant, when we are unified.

a. One goal

b. One purpose

c. One team

10) Prayer