How popular would your favorite sports team be if no one ever talks about them? Or if the arena was always half full but no one cheered or just sat in their seats arms crossed just watching the game. If you were the owner of that particular team you would wonder why these people are even there. The ones performing would start to wonder what they were doing wrong to garner a lack of enthusiasm among the so-called fans. Have the fans become so complacent in the game they just don’t feel they need to cry out and cheer. Have they lost touch with the fans? Or are they really bad? Where has the passion gone?
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for
finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—
the work of telling others the Good News
about the wonderful grace of God.
We know that this would never happen to your favorite sports team. Fans are invested in various levels, yet they all to some degree passionate about their teams. They may not always bring it up, but they have no hesitation to let you know who they root for. If we can be invested in a team that we can never truly be a part of, why can’t we invest our lives in the family of God where we can be a part of? Think about it, there are many churches on a Sunday where there are people there but not there. I am always tempted to bring up when I am leading worship is that the song “I’ll Stand with arms high and arms extended, in awe of the one who gave it all” doesn’t sing “I’ll sit, with arms crossed and mind distracted, wondering where to go for lunch, I’ll sit my heart not really into this, can’t wait for this hour to end”. How would the church be more effective if those attending on a regular basis were invested in the work of God as much as they were invested in their favorite sports team?
Now don’t get me wrong there are some churches that are full of invested people who are passionate for the work and growth of her people. I would be dismissed to ignore that fact. Yet a apathy and malaise has overtaken many churches where attendance seems to be routine or even to some just another social gathering, if something better comes up then we can skip church. But isn’t church just a modern religious trap created to take our money and fill our minds with rules and regulations? Some may think that, and I often wonder if that isn’t the heart of some. But the church is meant to be a place of family and connection. I place to be restored after a hard work of work and outpouring of God’s love to the world. The church in my eyes has three roles;
- Refresh and restore through corporate prayer and worship.
- Discipleship – a place to grow and learn what it means to follow Christ.
- A place to bring others to hear the good news of what Jesus has done for them. Not everyone has an easy time sharing their faith but inviting someone to church may be something they can do.
I don’t see the church investing in jerseys and large foam fingers, but I do see the need for the church to awaken their hearts and reignite their passion. When there is excitement people tend to flock to it. When you talk to your coworkers about what you did on the weekend what brings a bigger smile to your face, the big game or the work of God Sunday morning? The Newsboys put out a great song that exemplifies this,” Wherever we go that’s where the parties at”. We as believers need to see our time together worshipping Christ as more than a funeral procession, it is a celebration where anything and anything can happen. And it will if we come with an openness to seeing our lives changed. Let us be honest with ourselves we all need to grow closer to God. The one and a half hours each Sunday can’t be the only time we spend with God, yet it needs to be more than lip service. It should be an outward reflection of your week long service to God.
Father, let us not see Sunday as just a routine to follow. Let us awaken our hearts and our passion to worship you with our fellow believers. There is something about worshipping with others that empowers us. Maybe it is a reminder that every day every hour there are angels in heaven worshipping you, in unison and for a brief moment here on earth we join with our family in worship to you. Give us opportunities to reach others with your love, showing them that you are what excites us and are what drives our lives. Free us from this apathy that is holding the churhc down. Amen