As I was driving down the road to work yesterday, I noticed alot of bumper stickers. The ones I tend to spot first are the Dallas Cowboys stickers because my husband is a fan. When I see these I know I am somehow connected to the person even if we don’t know each other. We are willing to slap an allegiance on our cars, wear all the team gear, spend hundreds of dollars to go see “our” team, memorize all the players names and stats, and fight almost to the death if someone slanders the precious name of (insert your team here)! What if we showed that much allegiance to Jesus?!?!?! What if we could say we were Jesus’ biggest fan?
I do not have a Jesus fish on the back of my car … 1. I’m not really a bumper sticker person. 2. Deep down I know that there are times when I don’t use my turn signal or cut someone off and I wouldn’t want them judging Jesus on my crazy driving habits … but I would hope that when people see me, I am bumper-stickered with the sayings of my Lord. I hope they can look at my earthly vehicle and read the joy and love of Jesus. Imagine if we treated church and God like we did our sports teams.
1. Fellow Fans: Imagine if we encouraged the body of Christ like we did the players on the field … die-hard support of each other whether we win or loose. Recognizing a fellow fan and smiling at strangers just because we love the same team. Anytime I am wearing my Cowboys jersey I have a million people high five me or smile and say they love them too. What if we treated everyone like they were part of our team? What if we made glitter signs to show support for the people in our lives?
2. Cheering Like A Banshee: I have seen so many people get hyped just because it is almost game day, talk about the game before and after for days, dress up in crazy outfits, scream at the top of their lungs in support … but I am seeing less and less people worshiping, and more people grumbling about getting up for church. We are not excited about singing God’s praises, willing to lift our hands in worship because people are looking and might think we are radical, and we have lost our love and zeal for reading and knowing what God’s word says. When is the last time you saw the wave done in church (I know this sounds silly, but where has the freedom to worship whole heartedly and without abandon gone?) I know some guys who think they are too manly or embarrassed to sing in church – but they are willing to paint their face, wear a wig, lock arms and dance and sing, and slap each other on the butts because their team is important to them and no amount of foolishness and pride is too much to show support (just saying).
3. Number One Fan: How many times have you heard someone say they are a teams biggest fan? I have literally seen grown men crying over a loss, getting in fist fights because someone disrespected their team, and camp out for days to get tickets. What would our lives and the world look like if we were willing to show that kind of pride and loyalty to Jesus. I am not saying get in a fist fight, but do we really stand up for what we believe no matter who it offends, or do we cower to the pressures of the world and hide so we don’t have to look like a fanatic? Are we that eager to see Jesus? Do we camp out in the word of God? Are we tailgating in the church parking lot? Are we generally offended when someone slanders the name of our Lord? Do we cry at the atrocities of this world? What can we do to show God that we are His biggest fan? Are we splurging for the front row seats or clamoring for the nose bleed section on Sunday mornings?
4. Team Gear: How many jerseys do you own? How many shirts with your church logo or a bible verse do you own? I have jerseys so I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but if we are willing to show support to a team no matter what anyone thinks, then why would we be scared to offend someone with a shirt about prayer or the name of Jesus on it? Are our hearts and actions stamped with the biblical team logo on them? When people see me do they notice my cowboys star or my Jesus attitude? Am I clothed with righteousness or filthy rags?
5. Team Stats: How many players can you name, do you know their batting average, what years they won the championship, the records they hold? Now … can you name the books of the bible, the 12 disciples, the 10 commandments? I admit sometimes I am a little fuzzy on those (I always forget Bartholomew), but my knowledge of these topics shows what my allegiance is to whom I say I represent. If I really loved the Jesus team, I would want to soak up any and all information I could … but sometimes it just isn’t as important as it should be in my life. Sometimes just saying I love the team becomes enough. Sometimes I just want to wear the jersey without knowing the facts.
*** My challenge to all of us is to be excited about the Christian team! ***
1. Support and love those around you … smile and high-five a stranger just because they are on the same team (the human race).
2. Get excited about worship … can you imagine if the sanctuary on Sunday morning exploded with excitement like the stadium on Monday night?
3. Be God’s number one fan … be willing to defend your faith to the death!
4. Rep your team with more than a logo … wear your righteousness with pride.
5. Know your team numbers … study the word of God so you can be prepared to tell others about Christ!