Are you on the Stands or in the Game?
If you are a Christian and a member of a Church body of believers, how active are you?
What does God expect of us and what should we expect of each other within the Church body?
It’s easy to criticize those who are playing the game when we sit in the stands and only have to watch the game and the players on the field make mistakes, isn’t it? But, it’s much more difficult to move out of the stands and toward the sidelines to be a participant in the game. That means that if we become part of the game, those still in the stands are looking at you and I and now we are the one’s being criticized on how we play the game. But what if the stands were empty and everyone were trying to get in the game?
Being an armchair quarterback is great if we’re at home watching our favorite team winning or losing and how we would have made a different decision. But when we make the analogy to Church and participation within the Church many are all too satisfied watching others while criticizing how things get done. What will it take to get you to move from the “Stands” to the “Playing Field”?
When we are on the playing field we generally have a greater sympathy for those who are already in the game trying to make difference for the team. We begin to see the tireless efforts of many individuals who have been beat up and knocked down, sometimes for years, by those who only want to “armchair quarterback” and complain about how things are being run or how thing are done. When we can have greater sympathy and greater respect for those who are already in the game and playing to the best of their ability.
When players and/or teammates receive criticism from others it makes it all the more difficult to want to play or even be in the game. It should change our outlook on our own criticism of others and their involvement for the better if we would just move out of the “Stands” and into the “Game”. If we somehow start to think we are the “Star” of the team or the best player in the game, we will begin to think we don’t need anyone else and we can do it on our own.
One of my hero’s of the Bible is a man from Cyprus who was called not by his given name by the Apostles, but because of his relentless pursuit of being such a positive influence they called him Barnabas. In Acts chapter 4:36 we’re told that Barnabas means son of encouragement. Wow! Wouldn’t you like to be known as a person of encouragement within your church body? Wouldn’t you like to be known as a cheerleader for everyone in church?
If you’re not know as an encourager, then why not? Who has the ability to make you that? With the help of God, the answer is you and you alone.
If you’re not in the game, an active member at your church, why not? Who has the ability to make you that? With the help of God, the answer is you and you alone. Be a cheerleader for everyone in the game and encourage them to keep up and don’t give up. Maybe relieve a player once in a while or just give an encouraging pat on the back.
God freely gave his offer of Salvation through Jesus Christ. If you’ve made the decision to let Jesus save you from the penalty of your sin and you have professed him publicly in baptism, then the next step is to get in the game. Find where you can be most helpful in your Church and let God be your coach.
The Coach is waving you in the game, calling your name to do something for His team. What will you do? Will you sit and wave back or will you come running in the game to the one who gave everything for you? There is room in the game for you and I both. Don’t let people discourage you and say you’re not qualified to be in the game. God qualified you to be in the game when Jesus was tortured and crucified, laid in a tomb, then defeated death by rising from the grave and secured the Victory for you and I both for eternity.
The Victory is already won, and we have to tell others about the wonderful thing that God did through Jesus’ sacrificial death. That’s what being in the game is all about and the goal we all should have working together as teammates for His glorious, victorious Kingdom!
- Communion Sunday – October 4th
- The Thrill of Victory