Last night at the young men’s Youth Small Group we prepared to study the book “Not a Fan” by discussing the difference between being a fan and being a follower. We talked about what a sports team fan may look like – wears a team jersey, catches the game on TV, reads about his team in the Sunday paper, … and about what the Christian fan might look like – wears a cross, sits in church on Sunday morning, respects/loves others, reads a Bible and/or devotional…
Then we moved into talking about what a follower would look like. How it would be different. If I were a follower of the Vikings instead of just a fan – I would know lots of statistics and facts about the players, I would be reading about who the next coach could/should be, I would be reading lots of blogs about who they should be looking at for the draft, … I would be invested in my team. What would it look like if you were a follower of Team Jesus?
As a follower it does involve things like being in church, reading and stuyding your faith, and treating others well. But isn’t it more than that? Lots of ‘fans’ do these things too. As we talked about the idea of being a follower, the idea that we must move into a relationship with Jesus became a necessity. Sam stated that you just don’t believe in Jesus but come to live for Jesus. Jesus becomes a part of who you are and becomes what makes the decisions you face in life. People come to see Jesus in you and come to see you as a new creation. They see what it means to be a Christian.
I asked the young men if their classmates look at them differently because they are Chritians. Dean told the story of a policeman that saw a lady angry in traffic – she had been cut off and was screaming and shaking her fist at the offending driver. After the officer checked her license and registration he returned them to her. She asked why she had been pulled over. He replied that when he saw her being so upset he also noticed the Jesus fish on her bumper. He had assumed the car was stolen and thought he’d better check it out.
The young men stated that others hold Christians to a higher standard. My reply was, “Shouldn’t they?”