Monday, January 2, 2012

An Open Letter to Jerry Jones

Dear Mr. Jones,

I, like millions of others, am disappointed in this year's edition of the Dallas Cowboys.  That sentence could be applied to many of the past several seasons in my opinion.  It seems like the 'boys have been consistent underachievers recently, and I wish I could say that I actually cared.

For, you see, Mr. Jones, I used to be a die hard Cowboy's fan.  I rarely if ever missed a game.  My college roommate even swore that I bled blue, silver, and white.  I used to be morose when the 'boys lost and elated when they won.  Now, I feel absolutely nothing whether or not they win or lose.  Part of it is, I believe, my own maturing as an adult.  It's a game after all, and wins and losses don't make a bit of difference compared to things that really matter like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and other such weighty matters.

But another part of it is that I know what to expect each and every season now.  It's like the movie "Groundhog Day."  Over and over again, the same things happen.  Doesn't matter who the coach is.  Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcels, Wade Philips, and now Jason Garrett all have teams that do the exact same thing.  Changing the coaches hasn't helped. 

Neither has blowing up the roster and starting over.  High priced free agents and bottom barrel bargains haven't done a single thing to correct what has happened season after season.  No matter who is on the roster, the same blasted things keep happening. 

It isn't the coaching staff.

It isn't the players.

Something else is causing this malaise within the system.  But I don't expect any real changes to be made.  None what-so-ever.  Oh, I do expect several roster moves.  I expect maybe some coaching changes, but this is doing the same thing as before.  And when you keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results...well, that's called insanity.

And sadly, Mr. Jones, I expect more of the same because I am not convinced a willingness on your part to look into the mirror and see how you are contributing to the problems the Dallas Cowboys are facing.

Mr. Jones, I am a pastor--not the best one in the world, but not a terribly bad one either, and I think I know one or two things about leadership.  Even though I am not fully responsible for much of what happens in my congregation, folks look to me when things are going good or bad.  And when things start teetering or going astray, the first thing I begin to do is look at how I am functioning.  How am I contributing to what is going on.  Am I too detached from my folks?  Am I asking them to do things they are incapable of doing?  Am I too close to folks and unwilling to hold their feet to the fire?  Am I spending enough time with my leadership?  Am I spending too much time with my leadership?  And so on and so forth. 

The point is, Mr. Jones, I don't go around blaming everyone else.  I don't try to replace cogs in the machine.  I look at what I am doing, and I try to see how what I do is contributing to the overall functioning of the congregation.  And if things are not working as they should, I don't try to change everyone else.  I work to change how I function. 

For instance, recently the national denomination of which my church is a part made some rather controversial decisions.  I was very forthright in what I believed we as a church should do.  I didn't believe we should leave the denomination, and I didn't believe we should cut off funding to the national church.  Well, our offerings dropped substantially, much to my chagrin.  I knew I faced a dilemma.  Do I continue to hold fast and be unchanging, or do I change how I function?  Working with my leadership, we offered a compromise: folks could give to the national church if they chose, but we would remove them as a line item in the church's budget.  The congregation passed the policy at our congregation meeting, and our offerings increased.  Basically, I had to get out of the way and allow the congregation to do its thing without me telling it what to do.

I wonder if you have done such a thing, Mr. Jones?  I wonder if you have tried to see how you might need to get out of the way and allow such things to happen in the Dallas Cowboy's organization?  Something tells me you haven't, but I hope I am wrong. 

Don't worry.  I'm not one of those fans who refuses to watch the Cowboys or support them "until Jerry leaves."  No.  I'm not that type of person.  I am a Cowboy's fan.  I will forever be one.  But it does sadden me that I no longer care if they win or lose.  I hope that changes in the near future.


Kevin W. Haug
The Country Preacher

No comments: