Much has been made of the terrible call made by NFL official Ed Hochuli at a critical time in a game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers. I was watching the game and it was a pretty obvious blown call by a veteran official who has one of the best reps in the business. Ed Hochuli is an attorney by profession which likely makes him a guy who is well aquainted with football “law”, if you will. Regardless of how well we know the rules we’re all prone to screw things up on occasion. I remember so many times that I confessed, and repented of my secret porn/sin problem knowing full well that it wasn’t God’s plan and clearly outside of His law of love. Then only a few days, or even sometimes a few hours later I was back online breaking God’s heart and His law all over again.
One of the things I can appreciate about the Ed Hochuli “bad call” is that he has owned up to it. He has apologized, even written emails responding to irrate San Diego fans who blasted him. The New York Daily News called him a “stand-up guy”. I think it says a lot when a man or anyone will step up and own “the bad calls” especially the ones that have a major impact on lives. Thats right where we are pastors and it goes without saying, that when we make the bad calls, when we blow it, when we fail we’ve got to own it!
Thats true in all aspects of our ministries but especially when it comes to our private worlds and our integrity in the sexual arena. No we don’t have to confess it to the world but we should have a small group of same-gender accountability support that we can let in on our blown calls and mess-ups. Thankfully we aren’t on national TV in front of millions and making the bad call but we do have an audience with the King of Kings who sees all and knows all that we do in secret.
I believe one of the most significant pastoral leadership things we can do is own our mistakes and when appropriate make sure that we let others know that we know that we blew the call. It’s tough to do but we’re not playing games, there’s so much more at stake.