Some thoughts to follow-up this week’s message on going ALL IN by loving God with all of our strength, just like Jesus talked about in the Great Commandment. Here’s a practical challenge that you can take to apply this to your life with your rest, your diet, and your exercise.
Archives For Sports
Last weekend, Kenzie’s volleyball team, the Hill Country Lady Rams, played in the state finals for the championship. Needless to say, I was excited. This was the game of the year, equivalent to the Super Bowl fur us. We got there early, carefully chose our seats on our team’s side, and as the game started I stood there and began to clap and cheer for the Rams, along with the other fans.
Within a few moments, a man from behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, would you sit down? My wife and I would like to see the game.” I said, “Excuse me, could you repeat that?” He said it again. I looked at Pam in disbelief and said, “This guy is asking me to sit down.” The funny thing is, all of this was caught on camera so you can see our discussion.
At that point, I had a couple of options. I could have said, “Forget it,” or “Sure, I’ll sit down,” or gotten violent, but remembering that I’m a pastor, I moved out of the way and stood with the students to cheer on our team. You see, I wasn’t there to just observe, I wanted to participate. I was a part of the team and I wanted to help our team win. This other guy wasn’t a part of either team. He was just there to watch. He didn’t have a vested interest in either side.
And it occurred to me, it reminds me of what happens at church every Sunday. You’ve got some people who get there early, find a seat where the action is, stand up ready for God to do something amazing, cheering on people who are making life-changing decisions. They want the team to win and they are going to help make it happen.
But there are some people, usually those who’ve grown a little too comfortable, who show up and sit and soak. They look around at all the people who are pumped up and they say, “Why do these people have to be so excited? Can’t they just chill out and take a seat? We just want to quietly observe and not get involved ourselves.” Don’t be that guy!
It’s been amazing to watch as more and more people at The Connection Church come ready for something great to happen. We don’t want to just go through the motions. The interesting thing is, the total experience is different for those who get involved instead of just staying passive and checking out.
At TCC, we want to do what we do best and add value to our community. Back in 2005, we tried to do a Vacation Bible School and found out that, because we were portable, we didn’t do as good of a job with it as some other churches were already doing. But we do community events really well.
So we started doing a week of sports camp in a park. The event is totally free, with lots of choices for the kids. Along the way, they also learn about the Bible, sing with a live band, experience puppets, have healthy snacks, and top it off with a yummy snow cone.
What always blows me away is the incredible dedication of our volunteers. Let’s face it, it’s hot out there in Texas in July. But they are committed to doing whatever it takes! Under the leadership of the MSC Director, Sylvia Orta, and our Children’s Ministries Coordinator, Tammy Oineon, our team is showing kids that Jesus can help them live UNDEFEATED lives when they live for Him!
I find out through Seth Godin’s blog that The Mets won their game in the 10th inning Tuesday, May 12, with a bases-loaded walk.
That’s exactly what we talked about on Sunday at TCC. If you want to win your friends to Jesus, don’t ever underestimate the power of your walk. Make no mistake about it, the people around you are watching, especially when you don’t realize it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a convenience store, thinking I was anonymous, only to have the person behind the counter ask, “So how are things at the church. You know, I occasionally attend there.” If I had been buying a lottery ticket, making a beer run, looking at the girly magazines behind the counter, gossiping on my cell phone, or using colorful language, it would have been a poor impression on the church and, ultimately, on Christ.
Too many times, the reason people don’t want to follow Christ is because of their experience with Christians. Walking consistently with God is the most powerful tool we’ve got to be salt and light and influence our culture. Sometimes God’s people need to be seen and not heard. And just like in the Mets game, our walk needs to be consistent to the end, because that’s where the victory is won!