Resources for Christian Education

Site Index

Written by Nathanael Vissia
Posted 09.07.2013

the blog

comments                           share

Note:  In the last few years, the internet “meme” has gained prominence in the American consciousness.  A meme is when a certain type of idea or observation bubbles up and becomes part of a community’s consciousness.  Once that type of idea is firmly imbedded, it serves as a filter that the general public uses to view the world. Even though the word, “meme,” is a newer concept for us, its actual existence is long-standing. In the past, memes have traveled by word of mouth, stories, radio, books, newspapers, classrooms, movies and TV.  

There are a number of memes that exist and pass through the Church’s consciousness, sometimes quite unconsciously. A number of these memes are ruinous because they are not of God, but of scarcity and fear.

The following post is borne of my frustration with how churches give heed to these meme voices when it comes to managing Sunday school.  What’s especially frustrating is how engrained a number of these memes are, despite the obvious harm that comes from our listening to them.  I apologize for the sarcastic tone of the following piece, but I left it that way to make an impression.

This post is Part 1 of a two-part piece.  Part 2 is not sarcastic and can be found here.

How to Destroy Soccer in 5 Easy Steps

If American youth soccer leagues were a stock (SoCR?), and we had bought shares of it in the early 1990s, by today, we could each buy our own island somewhere in the South Pacific.

What is especially amazing about the rise of youth soccer leagues in the last 20 years is how incredibly awful soccer actually is as a sport.  The kids either chase bumblebees or clump around the ball and kick each other in the shins. It's even worse when they play the game correctly.  

So, if you are like me and wish to free the Land of the Brave from the scourge of soccer, here's the plan:  Infiltrate the leagues and manage them like churches manage Sunday School.

The 5 Easy Steps

Step One  

At a national level, market the sport only to adults (and not kids). Be sure to use equipment from the 1950s. Bonus points if the rules are written in the King's English.

Step Two

Hire coaches who don't play, watch or understand the game. Bonus points if coaches are hired because their spouses like soccer.

Step Three

Assume the youth are already professional-level soccer players. Bonus points if youth leagues are unavailable for youth older than Confirmation age.

Step Four

Replace the fundamentals of practice with fun activities, like watching movies that have little to do with the game. Bonus points if practice ends with discussion that relates soccer with current events.

Step Five

Have coaches of the teams be very understanding when kids can't attend practices and games due to homework or the inability to go to bed on-time. Bonus points for canceled practices and constantly rescheduled games.

Finally, to ensure the continued success of Steps 1 through 5, keep the populace distracted by blaming a completely unrelated problem.  Expression of grave concern about the conflict of schedule on Sunday mornings between soccer and churches has worked in the past.

Once Steps 1 through 5 are implemented, it might seem like they are having little to no effect.  But do not despair. Keep up the good fight! It only takes a consistent effort. By the time you are a grandparent, the fruits of your labor will be evident. Once the younger generations have been saturated with the inadequacies, incompetencies and irrelevancies of soccer, it will already be too late for the soccer leagues to reverse their death spiral of diminishing returns.  Within three generations, American youth soccer leagues will be nothing but a memory, a relic from another time.


If you can’t already tell, let me reiterate: I really dislike soccer. However, the intent of this post is not to destroy soccer or youth soccer leagues. Instead, soccer’s success serves as the perfect foil to highlight the ridiculous management of Sunday school by churches. Sometimes, it is easier to see the lunacy when it is applied to a similar, but different arena.  

Click here for Part 2 to read why soccer has been so successful these last few decades and why it serves as the perfect foil to the management of Sunday school by churches.

Killing Soccer

Manage it like churches manage Sunday school