Sunday was the first time in a few years that I have had the opportunity to go to a Carolina Panthers game. It couldn’t have been a better game to go to. I mean come on. 49-15 is great and yes I had to dab at least 49 times during my time there. As I was sitting there, fans screaming all around me, jumping up and down in anticipation for what’s to come I realized something:
Going to the game and watching the game are vastly different.
As technology continues to advance and we become more inclined to things at our fingertips, more and more churches are diving into live-streaming services. I will be the first to say that I am totally for it! In fact, Propel will start live-streaming in the near future. However, watching a service from your home, and being a part of it are different. Technology should complement your church experience not complete it. Live-streaming is incredible for tuning in on those sick days or while traveling but if the only time you connect with your church is from tuning in at your convenience you will miss out on a few things.
Here are a few things you miss out on when settling for just live-streaming:
#1) You miss the celebration
At the game, you experience a ton of celebration especially when your team is winning. As a follower of Jesus, we always have a reason to celebrate. We live on the winning team because of what Christ accomplished on the cross and then by being risen 3 days later. In HIM we have every reason to celebrate despite our situations and circumstances. Being involved in a service in person, you get to not only experience your own celebration, but the celebration of others. We have the opportunity every week to celebrate when people begin to follow Jesus and take steps closer to Him. For us as followers of Jesus, that’s a touchdown worth celebrating.
#2) You miss the connection
Charlotte traffic is not a very enjoyable experience and because of that we arrived at the game early. Waiting for kick off allows plenty of time to strike up casual conversation with anyone willing to talk. This is where I met Bill. This week I had the opportunity to connect with a guy that I may never have met had I not gone to the game. This may be a one-time meeting or Bill could be the next beer cheese aficionado I have been searching for. The point is, when you only watch, you miss out on the opportunity to connect with new people. The sad reality is that for most of us we settle for “Facebook friendships” where the extent of our knowledge of a person is what is found in the about column. God’s desire for you and me is to connect with people who we can do life with.
#3) You miss the community
On Sunday the Panther’s stadium was covered in a sea of black and blue. This wasn’t just a bunch of people who happened to be wearing the same colors. These people were a part of a community, a community larger than the facility but gathered together to rally around their team. As followers of Christ, we are on the team known as the Body of Christ – The Church. We get to gather together in community to love, support and encourage each other as we continue to do what God has called us to do. We need community in our lives to hold us up and cover us when we can’t do it ourselves. Don’t just watch others be a part of the community, join in for yourself.