Imagine this, you’re in an arena watching your favorite sports team play and you’re cheering as loud as you can for them to win. Maybe you have pom-poms, colored paint or hair, and you’re jumping for joy when they score. If you were the only one in the arena cheering for that team, it would be harder for the cheering to actually encourage the team. However, since you’re in an arena full of fans, the combined cheering makes it down to the court (in the case of basketball) and helps encourage the team to do better.
That’s where I was at tonight, I was at the Colangelo Classic where GCU was playing against Liberty University. Now, I’m a slightly crazy and energetic fan, especially compared to my friends I was with, who were super calm and collected during the game. So I was yelling the chants, jumping up and down when GCU scored, and used my pom-poms to try and distract the other team when shooting free throws. Afterwards I apologized for being so crazy to one of my friends who hadn’t actually been to a game with me before tonight so he didn’t know how excited I got during games. His response? “Never be sorry for showing your passion.” This got me thinking, if I can cheer that much for a sports team that I’m passionate about, why don’t I cheer that much for something I’m most passionate about, which is sharing the Gospel and reaching people for Christ?
Our church is doing a Christmas initiative that involves helping other churches in the Phoenix valley to grow and reach people for Christ because in order to truly make a difference, you need to be united with others in the same purpose and be part of something bigger than yourself. When Pastor Ashley was talking about this initiative though, he was saying the other pastors were really skeptical when CCV first talked to them because a lot of the time churches seem like they’re in competition with one another so they thought there had to be a catch to this. This broke my heart because that’s not at all how the church should be, we should all be working towards the same purpose of reaching people for Christ. Looking at it though, this isn’t just a problem for churches, it’s a problem for Christians in general. There are so many times when we don’t work together to reach people for the kingdom, when we tear someone down rather than build them up, or when we just don’t live out our faith at all. One of the best ways to share your faith and also to live in unity is to rejoice in what God is doing in your life and also the lives of those around you. When there’s a group of people celebrating a God moment, that celebration has a much better chance of impacting someone who doesn’t know Christ, just like the combined cheering of fans has a better chance of encouraging the team. So why don’t we do that as often as we should? I think a lot of us are afraid we’ll look weird or other people will judge us for it. We think if we’re overly excited it’ll scare away the people who are calmer. In reality though it’s like the basketball game, if you’re passionate about it, you should be able to celebrate and cheer with the other people who are also passionate about reaching people for Christ.
As I said above, CCV is doing the “bigger than us” campaign for Christmas and I think it’s amazing. So here’s what I’m challenging you to do, don’t be afraid to be a Jesus Freak or crazy for Christ. You can start small, celebrate a God moment in either yours or someone else’s life with those around you. Don’t worry if they’re a Christian or if they’re not a Christian because your excitement can be contagious. Never hold back your excitement for Jesus. And never, ever apologize for being passionate, especially passionate for Christ.