Spectator or competitor?
Is it time to step off the sidelines, and get more involved at your church?
Being a spectator is easy
Last year I was at the Southwest Classic for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The first day I sat in the stands and watched some matches. It is easy to be a spectator, even a fan. When you are in the stands, you have perspective. You get a chance to assess the situation because you are up high. You can look for holds, passes, sweeps and submissions. From the stand it is easy to recognize a mistake, or a missed sweep. Spectating is easy, there is nothing on the line, you have composure and you are free to cheer and jeer as you please.
Being a competitor is harder
The second day was different, I had my gear. Again I was in the stands watching matches, but this day was different. At 2:00pm in the afternoon they called my division. I went from spectator to competitor. Moving from spectator to competitor means that you have to push through fear and anxiety.
Stepping on the mat for a match is the moment when you have to trust your training, trust your drills, trust your cardio, and most important trust your coach. On the mat, your composure is different, your reactions are different. Now this is your moment to make decisions on the fly and looks for sweeps on the spur of the moment. No time for reflections, just competition. For me, the hardest thing is making the decision to step on the mat.
Spectators and competitors at church
We have plenty of spectators who enjoy church or youth group, love the talks and enjoy the worship. It may even be the highlight of the week, a chance to spend quality time with God in the fellowship of some great friends. The problem is: Church isn’t a spectator sport. Even if the chairs face the front and the band plays on the stage, Church isn’t a spectator sport. Church involves participants. It requires competitors.
Don’t let fear stop you from moving from spectator to competitor at your church or youth group. Church needs you to get on the mat, to compete, not just spectate. There will always be times to just be a spectator, but be prepared to get the training and skills to get down onto the mat and compete. Maybe this week you could speak to your youth leader or church pastor and see if there's ways you can start to get more involved in your church.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Cor 9:24-27)