Of Football and Evangelism and such….<3
Good morning! It appears Fall has found us here in the Midwest and I am one happy camper!
I ran into a lot of people on Wednesday and Thursday who are “summer people” and they were expressing deep sorrow that the temperatures would be doing a 20-30 degree drop.
I tried to be nice but I can’t help it…I love cooler temperatures and I don’t mind snow…so bring it on!
For those of you who are still with me (because the summer people may have gone back to googling Arizona get-aways), I want to share a little thought about our visit to Green Bay a few weeks ago. Speaking of cold weather and snow, right???
If you are a Bear’s fan, I am asking you to mentally plug out all your anti-Packer vibes and hear this as a way to view evangelism from a different perspective.
We have a running joke between family and friends where I say I am a Green Bay Packer fan and Russ rolls his eyes and corrects me that no, I am an Aaron Rodgers fan. And yes, this is also true.
But I can honestly say it is my husband’s fault.
The whole mess started a number of years ago when playoffs were happening for the NFL.
I have absolutely no understanding nor interest in football beyond watching it with Russ.
I love the atmosphere of the games and people watching, the food and really amazing plays but the rest of it may as well be a college level Physics class for me. I have not a clue what is going on and often can’t even locate where the ball is during a given play.
This particular year we were driving the long road home from Iowa and Russ got tired so I took over the wheel.
He was listening to some talk show before one of the games and he fell asleep so I didn’t want to wake him by changing the channel and thus I listened mile after mile while two announcers who absolutely loved Lambeau, #12, Green Bay and all things Packer history.
By the time Russ woke up, I was hooked.
I wanted to go to Green Bay.
I was convinced Aaron Rodgers was the single most amazing and underrated quarterback of all times and that his footwork and thought processes were art in motion.
I had no more idea of the inner workings of the game, but I became a follower of the Packers that day and when this past year some friends who are natives of Wisconsin found this out they insisted we make the pilgrimage to Lambeau and began working out tickets and details and hosted us to come and visit.
So before I completely alienate any Bears or Patriots or Seahawks or whatever fans you might be, please see what I realized about evangelism in this experience.
Because of the enthusiasm of two men talking about Lambeau and the history of Green Bay and the Packers…because they had studied and invested time at games and in the community…because some Packer fans wanted us to come and made the effort to get us there and make us feel a part of it all…we went.
We went and we felt included and it lived up to the hype of the people who love that place and that team.
And we want to go back.
I wonder about a place I love so much called church.
What if I talked about it in such a way of love and enthusiasm; knowing and sharing the history of it and my experiences so that someone else might listen and think that is a place he or she would like to visit.
And what if, when I started getting the sense that was happening, I made the effort to bring it about..and I made sure they went with me and felt comfortable and had the best experience possible.
I can’t help but think that I don’t do this very well.
I tend to view anyone who doesn’t already attend our church or another church as uninterested. I don’t want to make them uncomfortable or feel weird around me so I just don’t talk about it.
I want to be better about this and I know a relationship with Christ is a whole different ball game then following a sports team…but I think I could learn a little bit about being more open in sharing my love for the Church of Jesus Christ from some cheese heads.
Those announcers didn’t share their Packer love because they were trying to convert me…that’s what they do. Those fans didn’t care if I was a fan or not…they love their Packers and they were just who they are with no apologies to anyone who doesn’t.
It should be the same with me and all of us who are experiencing growth and connection through the local church. There are many who do this well and I know God will help the rest of us to do better if we will only ask Him for help to overcome our hesitancy and fear of rejection.
Something to pray about for sure <3
Have a blessed day…and Go Pack Go!!!
Great example, Laura. I think you may be on to something.
Thank you Gerry. Coming from you, I appreciate that. I wondered if it was a stretch but I hoped I could help us to see that we shrink back out of fear of offending someone over an issue that will matter for all eternity, but do not hesitate a bit sharing our love for temporal things like a sports team or a show we love or a product we endorse. I appreciate your comment <3
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