Climbing Out of the Stands
Two weeks ago I preached on Psalm 122, the one where the psalmist declares, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” I asked the question, “Are you this glad to be in the house of the Lord here on the corner of Rosedale and Skansie? Does being a part of Chapel Hill excite you? Or is it a matter of indifference; fine as long as something else doesn’t come along?”
It really is an important question because it can be an indicator of your excitement about your entire life of Christian discipleship. Usually, passionate faith in Christ and passionate commitment to the Body of Christ go hand in hand.
I continue to believe that one of the keys to real excitement and fulfillment as a member of a particular church body is your level of personal involvement. Going back to the football image—very appropriate given the Seahawks’ records-setting start to this season—there is a difference between spectating in the stands and actually being out on the field. We can be entertained, excited, disappointed, fired up when we sit in the stands… but it is only when you are actually out on the field that the game really comes to life for you.
None of us have the gifts to play professional football. But every single one of us has the opportunity, gifts and calling to climb out of the stands and onto the field of Christian endeavor. And it makes all the difference in the world. If you remain safely in the bleachers—spectating, hollering, booing, cheering—if you continue to view life in the church as a spectator sport and yourself as a consumer, you will never know the joy and passion and, yes, the gladness that comes when you are actually in the game. Serving, teaching, leading, planning, mentoring, cleaning, helping, inviting… whatever your gifts allow.
Are you in the game? Or are you still in the stands? One way to start the journey out of the bleachers is to come to our membership class which starts this Sunday. We call it “CHAI”—Chapel Hill All In. The name says it all. It is an invitation to every single person to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the mission and life of their church. If you have not yet done so, will you join me this Sunday after second service? You may register online here.
Next week we will be hosting the meeting of the west coast Presbytery of the Pacific. 250 of your EPC brothers and sisters will be here. Among other things, we will be examining Ellis White to be taken under care as a ministerial candidate. And we will be leading in a glorious service of worship on Friday evening at 7pm. For more information on the schedule, contact the church office at 851.7779. I do hope you will come. It will make you glad that you are a part of this great denomination.