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Summary: poeple have different feelings about sports, they either love, hate, don't care, or don't know anything about them. The same can apply to sharing our faith. We need to get in the game, and learn how to be more effective in sahring the Good News.

Get in the game Jan. 9, 2011

• Do you like sports? Are you a sports fanatic? Are you involved in sports?

• Playoff time in NFL – Seattle pulls off great upset against last year’s champion NO Saints. The Jets actually win a game that counts and move on…

• Hockey – great time to be a Canucks fan - # 1 in the league, best power play, best point stretch…fun time to watch the games

• Then there’s NBA, FIFA, NASCAR, MBA, rowing, diving, horse racing, and of course the world rock/paper/scissors association. And my favourite sport…fishing!

• All are fun to watch, but can you see yourself PLAYING these sports, actually being on the field, driving the car, catching the big fish?

• People feel and act differently towards sports.

o Play sports

 love to get out and do it

 may play one or several different types

 are actively involved, and want to be better at what they do

o Watch sports/cheer

 have a lot of knowledge about it…but tend to stay on the couch or sidelines

 have a strong opinion of what’s right and wrong about a game

 will tend to find ways not to actually get out and play

o Dislike sports

 Seldom or don’t ever play

 Think it’s a waste of time

 See those who play or like sports as wasters of life

o Don’t know anything about sports

 Have never actually played or even watched a type of sport

 Have never really thought if it would be beneficial in any way

 Have no real opinion on those who do enjoy sports

• I wonder if God is a sports fan? I wonder if there’s hockey in heaven? Is there a freshwater lake teeming with trophy trout in eternity…is the glassy sea open for fishing?

• I wondered this week about a connection between the love of sports, or any pastime for that matter (could be just about anything from knitting, needlepoint, or collecting stamps) and the purpose of the church and being a Christ-follower?

• So first, I thought of ‘what is the purpose of the church’ and maybe more specifically, what is our purpose as Christians?

• Evangelism – telling people about Jesus Christ. Mathew 28:19 – the Great Commission. Jesus gives us the COMMAND to GO, to MAKE disciples, to BAPTIZE, and to TEACH.

• Within the church, there are those who

o Love to share their faith

 love to get out and do it

 may play one or several different types

 are actively involved, and want to be better at what they do

o Are content to watch and pray for others to do so

 have a lot of knowledge about it…but tend to keep their faith to themselves

 have a strong opinion of what’s right and wrong about how the church should present itself

 will tend to find ways not to be in a situation of talking about Jesus.

o Won’t share their faith

 Seldom or have never shared – fear, not their calling, someone else’s job

 Think it’s a waste of time – no one would ever believe me

 See those who evangelize as better than themselves

o Don’t know what it means to do so

 Have no idea how to share about God

 Think it all happens in church

 Don’t have the tools

• What does it look like when the church is involved in evangelism? Acts 2:42 – the fellowship of believers

o Christ-followers were DEVOTED to the teaching/learning about God and his kingdom, to breaking bread (fellowship), and to praying together. How are we doing?

o They looked after one another, gave God the glory, and people NOTICED!

o God brought the people into the fellowship, and still does today. He gives us plenty of opportunities to share our faith and lead people to God.

• So how are we doing? How am I doing? I need to lead by example, but it is not up to any one or any number of people alone…it’s up to all of us to be the church.

• Pray – ask God for the desire to share the Good News. Right attitude towards evangelism.

• Be teachable – personal study, group study, application of teaching

• Be available – Ask God where, when, and whom you can share with. Be ready anytime, anywhere, anyone.

• Get in the game – cheering is great, but getting involved is better. God wants everyone to get involved somehow.

o Tell your story – What does it mean to have God in your life?

o Talk about Jesus – more than just a belief, more than just a name…how well you know Jesus is how well you can talk to others about Him.

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