Monday, September 19, 2011

Spectator to Follower

Yesterday my church, which is multicampus, celebrated as one church at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It was an incredible day as 6,500+ people gathered in the heart of the city as we proclaimed Jesus as Lord. Many people there were Summit members and spectators, but there were also many visitors, people who were potentially being exposed to and hearing the gospel clearly for the first time.

My wife, Andrea, and I were on the baptism counseling team and were overwhelmed by the response of people responding to salvation and baptism. In fact, we were lacking enough volunteers so at times I saw two people being counseled by one person. The last count that I heard was that there was at least 300 people baptized.

Each person that I counseled has a story, but the first person that I had the privilege of counseling sticks out to me because I believe that he represents a lot of people. His name is Chris and he is in his mid twenties, raised in church, been in and out of the church scene, but at the end of the day described himself as a "spectator" Christian. In other words he knew a lot of stuff in his head about being a Christian, knew how to speak Christianese, but the reality up until this weekend was that Jesus was not Lord of his life.

I believe that there are many people out there just like Chris, people who could articulate the gospel, but have not surrendered their life to Jesus as Lord. Instead many people turn to legalism and moralism as the means to their salvation. But the truth is that neither legalism nor moralism are saving.

So for Chris, he was a spectator Christian, which in reality is no Christian at all. He merely watched other followers of Christ, hung-out with some of them, went to their parties, but did not find his own identity with Christ as his Savior and Lord.

My feeling is that there are churches filled with people like Chris, you may even be one of them. Though for Chris he faced reality yesterday and saw his need for a Savior and went from being a spectator to a follower of Christ and celebrated that in baptism.

Perhaps you are one that is just like Chris. You have been a spectator of Christians for years, but never become a follower of Christ. Why waste your life as a spectator when you will never reap the full benefits that Christ has to offer you? Why not today go from being a spectator to follower? A great tool that can help you with this can be found here.

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