Thursday, November 14, 2013

Part of the Team

I was watching a playoff soccer game last weekend and noticed that after one team scored, their fans began singing. The song was really catchy and stuck in my head for a long time. So I went online and found this video of their song: Believe

Now, aside from this being a catchy earworm, it got me thinking. What is cool about this chant/song/cheer is that it came from the crowd. The audience, if you will. But they aren't *just* the audience. They are an important part of the brand and supporters of the team. The last phrase in their cheer is "we're here for RSL." The fans are there to help their team to victory.

This is a different way of thinking than many other sports fans. Instead of the fans being there for the team, the team is there for the fans. When I was a recent graduate of Northwestern University, my friend had 50 yard line tickets for the football team. I would sometimes sit with him on the 50 yard line, and when the team needed loud fans, we would stand and cheer and yell. And the old grouches around us would say, "sit down!" and "quiet down." They weren't there for the team. The team was there for them.

I see the same kind of difference in the church. There are "audience" members who show up on Sunday. They hope to "get something out of" the service, but they don't want to put anything into it. They'll be quick to "boo" if they don't like the song selection or if the sermon is poor. But they aren't "there for RSL" - they are there for a performance. But that's not *church* - the church is the people. And even more than the example of the RSL cheer, the church isn't just the "audience" - the church is on the field as well.

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