Contagious Obedience

Have you ever considered the greater effect of your everyday decisions? How your individual acts of obedience and faithfulness to Christ can lead to others being equally obedient?

In 2015, the Bulldogs from Mt. Vernon, Washington, started a new tradition. Following each football game—home or away—the members of the varsity team would shake the hands of their opponents and then head to the stands to help clean up. According to an article written by Jason Haddix, “The new tradition for the Mt. Vernon football program was initially an effort by the players to get fans to come and see the team play. When players came to coach Jay Silver, he posed a simple question to the student-athletes. ‘What are we doing beyond winning and losing that gives our community something to be proud of us so that they would want to come and watch us?” Based on a suggestion from his wife, Coach Silver challenged his players to clean up the stands following each game. Impressed by the actions of the team, fans began to help by cleaning up their own sections. Players began to ask themselves deeper questions about the overall benefit of both playing football and how their contribution could reflect the long-term effect. They gained servant’s hearts. The beauty of this act of service is that it carried on ahead of them. Haddix recorded, “Silver himself was humbled this season when Mt. Vernon played Cascade, which the Bulldogs defeated 28-0. As the normal routine began, it quickly became an even more extraordinary act when the Bruins joined in to help clean the bleachers with the very players who had just shut them out. It was the first time an opposing team assisted with the cleanup. Silver said as the players worked a Cascade supporter approached him thanking him, for what he has done” (Jason Haddix, “Washington Football Team Cleans Bleachers after Games,” NFHS, January 14, 2015,