Becoming more than a Fan!

It’s not whether you win or lose its how you played that game that matters.
I wonder does that even still apply in our culture of winning at all costs?  Steroids, PEDS, payments from Shoe Companies are in the headlines as top athletes and teams are seeking ways to win at whatever cost.
Is it any wonder that this mentality has overtaken youth sports as well.
Does anyone else remember playing “championship” games of baseball in the neighborhood with tennis balls and frisbees for bases?  Or how about winning world championships in a driveway game of 2on2 basketball?

When did winning become everything?

Now let me move off the court of sport and into the stands …

When did having ‘your’ team win or lose become ‘your’ victory?

College teams win and students rush the floor in celebration.

Pro Sports teams win and fans riot in the streets.
Wear the wrong color and get beat up or verbally abused.

I am all for rooting for a team, but let’s draw a line — You didn’t win.

You didn’t play.

Simply put you were simply a witness to someone else’s victory.

That became ever more clear on Sunday evening as Purdue Fans paid tribute to a class of 4 graduating Seniors – PJ Thompson, Dakota Mathias, Isaac Hass, and Vince Edwards.  They have won a lot of games (100) – the most in Mackey Arena (62) for a group of Seniors.  I have loved watching them play and grow as players and young men.  I have enjoyed their victories and wallowed in their defeats, but I was a fan.  They did the work – they won the battles.  And I have loved every moment – still hoping there are more!
So, here’s my point:

Being a follower of Christ is not a spectator sport.  You can’t sit on the sideline and cheer for Jesus.  You can’t just go to church on Sunday morning, sit in your favorite seat, wear your “I love Jesus” t-shirt, and celebrate victory as if you are part of team without BEING on the TEAM.

Jesus has invited us to be a part of his victory, but the invitation is conditional:

This is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. So whoever had God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life.
I John 5:11-12 NLT
Christianity is not a spectator sport.
Get in the game.
Live out your faith on the playing field of life.

I can promise you this – the victory is much sweeter when you participate in the game.

See you on the field … I’ll be cheering for you!


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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