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  • Jill Jarrell Newsome

Church Is Not A Spectator Sport

My friends make fun of me because I do not like to be in the limelight. Even with them who I have known most of my life. Oftentimes when we travel we play charades which crack us up. Other's wouldn't think it is funny because we are usually making fun of each other or something we have done. The first time my friend said, "let's play charades", I panicked. I was not getting up and acting! They laughed at my red face and how embarrassed I was in front of the three of them! But once I did it a couple of times, I was ok. Now, I find myself trying to make a mental note of something funny one of them does. It is a lot more fun to be involved and not just be a spectator!

As I see some of our staff working so hard doing the behind the scenes work at church I thought of this. Most churches have the same issue. There will be hundreds of chairs in the gym, before Covid, and they will be filled. Afterwards, when it is time for the chairs to be put up, there are a handful doing the work. I was reminded of this when I read a devotional from a friend, Homer Morris. He said, "Christianity became a spectator sport. In football, there are eleven men on the field, desperately in need of rest. There are forty thousand people up in the grandstand, desperately in need of exercise!" They are only there as spectators.

Some people think the staff should do it all. After all, "that is what they get paid for." God intends for His people, the church, to do the work of the church. The staff's work is something different. They are to train, equip and motivate the people to do this work. Somehow, the church became known as buildings. One of the blessings that God has brought from this time of social distancing is that we realized our church is not the building. We did not even go in the building and we still had church! Romans 8: 28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Every believer is placed in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12: 27, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." Each believer has been given gifts by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4: 7, "given gifts by the Holy Spirit to use within that body."

We worship best when we worship together with other believers, but Covid has made this difficult. For when it is necessary online services are wonderful but we do not want to be disconnected from our church, when we can. Jesus regularly attended public worship. Luke 4: 16, "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read..." Paul also went to church. Acts 17: 2, "As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures." And we were meant for worship. Psalm 95: 6, "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker..."

God wants to change our lives through worship. He also wants to use us in other's lives. Hebrews 10: 24, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds..." Are you a participant or a spectator?


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