If God had a Draft

As the NFL draft approaches, those of us in NFL markets hear all kinds of speculation and information about college players we’ve never heard of previously.

Which teams need a QB?
Who will move up in the draft to get the player they want?
What is my team’s greatest need?
What if they need to improve their offensive line, but the secondary is also weak after recent retirements?
Why did a team release a particular player?
Does a franchise have a plan when a player is lost to free agency or is this an issue of contract negotiations gone awry?
Who will they draft to improve – or at least replace a lost veteran?

The core question each team has to answer is simply, “Who is the best player who can make the most needed contribution to make my team the best team?”

The Bible records several occasions when God conducted a draft, and His criteria for drafting was quite different. Here are several examples:

1. God drafted Israel from among all nations. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) God had a choice from among every nation on the planet, and according to this verse He chose Israel because they “were the fewest of all peoples!”

2. When it came time to draft a king for His nation God made a selection that surprised even the player selected. Saul responded to the news saying, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?” (1 Samuel 9:21). A few years later, the next king God chose was just as shocking. He described his strategy in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. I do not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” Not surprisingly, there was no scouting combine leading up to the selection.

3. Jesus followed a similar drafting philosophy when He selected His apostles. None of them came from the power conference rabbinical schools of the day. Rather, Jesus drafted them from off the radar trade schools no serious star athlete would consider out of High School.

4. Jesus outlined His draft philosophy in His first sermon (Luke 4:18-19) when He announced that He had come to the poor, prisoners, blind and oppressed.

From examining the Divine Drafting Strategy we can make a couple of applications:

1. There’s a place for everyone on God’s team. When we’re hurt, feeling inadequate, or struggling with life, God selects us. He actively seeks out people who will rely on his strength and wisdom rather than those who will seek to claim credit for themselves.

2. Churches need to intentionally work to replicate God’s strategy. It’s very tempting to rely on “the eye test” or metrics (eg. Net wealth or training) when recruiting people for leadership opportunities in the church.

NFL draft strategies work great for the NFL, but God’s draft turns them completely upside-down. He drafts the weak and trains them. He transforms the outcast and the downcast into the winners in Christ He created all of us to be.