I have been lucky enough over my life to attend many sporting events of all levels. Football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, and more. I love the aspect of live sporting events especially in a big stadium with thousands of people cheering for the same team. But, it only takes one person to make an impact.
Regardless of the sport, or venue, there is always one constant. The fans. I also love people watching and meeting new people, which may be a primary reason I enjoy these events. You can always count on finding that one person (or sometimes multiple people) that make the environment either more enjoyable or not as enjoyable as it should be. Bad fans are everywhere, even at your favorite team’s stadium; whether you want to admit it or not.
It amazes me that one person can have an impact on your experience when there are thousands of positive and welcoming fans around you.
I was at a professional football game this past weekend. I was wearing my team’s colors in the opposing teams’ stadium. It was a great experience! Almost every fan I encountered was welcoming and had a good time cheering against us in their stadium. But there was one fan that was rude and inconsiderate towards the end of the game. This fan soured my perception of the fanbase.
If you ask me where some of my favorite places have been to watch sporting events, the majority of them are not based on the venue itself; they are mostly based on the fanbase.
Now translate that impact to church and Christianity.
It only takes one person to turn someone off from church and/or Christians. One sentence, one word, one bad interaction. People don’t get turned onto the church based on the building or location, no matter how beautiful it is. They are turned on and stay around based on the people they interact with.
Think about all the people that were turned off even back in the old testament times with the Pharisees or other groups that had strict rules and regulations associated with being in the church.
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Now if you run into that one fan or person at a game that helps you enjoy the experience, it can be just as beneficial, and the other can be hurtful.
That was Jesus in His time here on Earth. He shared so much Love with everyone he encountered it changed the perception as a whole of what it meant to follow Christ.
We each need to be that ONE person for someone else.
There are plenty of people looking and waiting for merely someone to be nice to them or ask them to church. And plenty of people that have been turned off by organized religion. Be the change, be the one person to someone else. Don’t let a different person do the opposite. We are in a fight for souls!