Football season is here again and I am excited! I love watching my favorite college and pro teams play each weekend. Even more exciting for me is that this year my son is playing for the local high school. I am not sure if there is anything more fun than being a spectator when your own kid is on the field.
If you will bear with me, I want to describe how it looks on a normal Friday night. First, we have already paid for the season tickets and the parking pass. Next, we will walk into the stadium carrying the stadium seat that bears the logo of the team. We purchased this from the school, along with various articles. Finally, we will likely spend a little on the various refreshments they sell at the concession stand.
All of this money spent is part of the experience and is acceptable because we know it goes to support the team, right? As spectators, it gives us a sense of pride that we can do our part to financially support the efforts of the local team. After all, we cannot very well go out on the field and contribute by playing, can we?!?
Football vs. Christian Faith
Before you think this post is about how expensive it can be to be a spectator at a football game, let me make the connection. The problem that I want to highlight here is that many Christians operate in this same way with their faith.
Go back to my description of a typical Friday night – change it to a typical Sunday morning. We go to church. We have paid our tithes and feel good about that. We watch the show and pay a little for the coffee in the cafe if our church has one. We may even add a little to the offering plate for the upcoming youth mission trip.
All in all, we feel good about our contribution because we know our money is put to good use. We know that we are supporting the ministry of the church when we do this, right?
Still A Spectator!
The problem with this is that we are still only spectators in this case. While we might get arrested if we attempted to suit up and run out onto the field of a high school football game, this is not the case with our faith!
Called To Participate!
Instead, we are actually CALLED out onto the field! With the Great Commission, we are COMMANDED to go out and be participants, not spectators! There is no limitation here, no security guards keeping us in the stands!
There is actually a Coach out on the field calling out our names and beckoning us to join Him. So, what is our response?
Don’t Stop There!
Before you get upset, I am not saying that financial support of the church is not critical. It is absolutely necessary. The only problem is that too many Christians stop here and think they have done something. In fact, many think they have fully met their responsibilities.
This is simply not right. Jesus is sending us ALL out to be participants. We are to step out of the stands and onto the field. We are to join the battle that is going on and we are to do so with a very clear objective.
For some, what you do as a participant will look different from the next person. Not everyone will have the same role. There will not be hundreds of quarterbacks out on the field. Each person’s talents and gifts are different and therefore their contribution will look different.
Spectator No More!
The bottom line is that there must be an active contribution. Simply sitting in the stands holding up the foam #1 sign is not enough. It may be all we can do in high school football, but more is expected of us when it comes to our faith.
So, what does this look like? How do we apply this idea to business?
I am glad you asked! I will try to take this analogy further in my next post by describing what some of the various levels of participation may look like and where we might fit in. I hope you will stay tuned!
Would you consider yourself a participant or a spectator?
What should you change to be more of a participant?
What are the risks of being more of a participant?