Have you ever sat in church and wondered, why am I here?
I would like to compare church going to a basketball game. In a game there are 4 types of people.
Those who are on the court, on the bench, in the stands, and those who hear about it from someone else. Said more succinctly: Those who do, those who sit, those who watch, and those who hear.
Regarding those who do, nobody experiences the game like a player. Those who do, get to see the wisdom of the coach. Those who do, get to experience the thrills of the game. The intensity of a play well executed, the focus of a unified team.
Those who do, also get to experience the joys of preparation. Their hard work pays off. Their discipline is shown. Those who do are motivated to train and grow, and are able to not only add to the team, but grow personally.
The next group of church goers are those who sit. This group makes themselves available but to a lesser extent. I am not talking about the 6th and 7th man but the third string, the ones who are sent in when it really doesn’t matter. Generally there is a dedication difference between 1st and 3rd string. (I do understand that in many schools there are extenuating circumstances such as politics, age, or position.) The starters, however, as a whole are focused on training on and off the court. The third string can “afford” an extra dessert or more time on the PlayStation instead of the gym.
When a coach looks at someone who is consistently late for practice or gives half effort during practice, his natural inclination is to reward them with the honor of watching the team dressed in their jerseys.
The third group are those who watch. Those who watch are bound to get tired, their buns are going to get sore, and they will get bored (that’s why they are eating.) When they are not stuffing their face with extra-large sodas and popcorn, audience members have the rather unique privilege of commentating and criticizing all from the comfort of their uninvolved perch. Audience members can join in the excitement, but cannot truly claim victory.
The final group are those we hear. This last group has no investment in the team or outcome, they simply hear about the game from another observer. Chances are after a few highlights the conversation drifts to other topics.
So the question remains, where are you today?
Let me know your thoughts, how can you determine the difference between a player and an observer? Is it fair to base commitment levels on actions? What changes have you noticed when you have been a player or observer?