Last week I began to express a metaphor for worship as football. While there may very well be wonderful things about the football approach and understanding of worship, I find it to be too 'control' focused and highly protective. Rather, I wonder what would it be if worship were approached not as football but as soccer?
Soccer seems like the ultimate game of trust. Each team knows what they are doing even though they do not come together as a total unit throughout the game to check in with each other. As the plays develop each person must be keenly aware of what they are doing as individuals but must make sure their actions are connected to the overall plan of the team. There is a lot of deviation that happens throughout the course of the game, but that deviation must instantly be figured into the scheme of the game. For instance, if one player in the 'back' position decided it would best serve the team to move to a forward position, then communication happens on the fly (verbal or not) and the other team members must cover the actions taken by the former 'back'.
There are not a lot of pads in soccer, just thin shin guards. So if you want to tackle someone, you have to physically touch them. This is dangerous for both players, not just the one being hit. There is one coach, but they do not have control over the plays as they develop. There is no play to "call", only persuasion.
If you see a soccer game in Europe, the crowd is very involved with the game - and not just when there is momentum. People are singing and dancing, with a feeling that what you are doing as a crowd actually effects the game. In fact, if you are not singing and dancing in the crowd, you stand out.
The spontaneous play of the game could very well contribute as to why soccer is known as the "beautiful game".