It was a small country church with big ambitions – to live into the plan that God had for them in 2011. As I sat in the pew watching the DVD that presented their coming six week study that would help them realize this goal, the words “are you a fan or a follower” repeatedly flashed across the screen. I remember bits of the message, the people were friendly, but the gift I received was the question: Are you a fan or follower of Jesus Christ?
Having been in a larger church with a significant number of what I believed to be “fans”, I was moved by the honest, earnest desires of the 40 plus people gathered on this particular Sunday morning. There wasn’t a “fan” in the place! With one exception – there was some debate as to who would get into the Super Bowl!
Even in sports there is a difference between a “fan” and a “follower.” In a TV interview I heard a man boasting that he had never missed attending a Super Bowl – “I have missed weddings, births, family events. I will never miss the Super Bowl.” Now he was a fan – a fan of the Super Bowl.
Other people have one team that they follow, through winning and losing seasons. They can recite the stats of particular players, know where they went to school, who they’re married to and how many children they have. They know the team, inside and out.
Fans of Jesus go and sit in church every Sunday because that is what a “good” person does. Sadly, much of the time their behavior doesn’t live up to their church going. A follower of Jesus wants something much more intimate. A follower wants a life change and that demands a deep knowing of Jesus.
“Following” is an active word. “Fan” is sedentary. Walking out of the sanctuary that morning I knew that following Jesus was how I wanted to keep going!
Jesus, You have said, Follow Me.
As difficult as it may be, I am following!