By Dr. Rusty Sieck, Executive Pastor of Ministry
It is that time of year again where millions of people are gearing up for the start of another season of fantasy football. As a matter of full disclosure, I am in a couple of fantasy football leagues myself. So, know from the very start, this article is in no way saying that you should not play fantasy football. I want to take a moment in this article to reveal some attributes that it takes to be successful in your league and apply them so that we might thrive in our faith. You may think there are no transferable principles, but the more you review fantasy football and the steps It takes to be successful, you might be surprised at what we can learn to help us in our faith.
Comparison One: Join a league
If you know anything about Fantasy football, you know you must join a league with anywhere between 6 and 12 other individuals; this is the first step. Fantasy football is not an individual pursuit, it is a group activity. As I started thinking about this reality, I wondered why millions of people are joining these leagues? I believe it’s because, at our core, the truth is we long to be a part of a community. Is this really a community? Well, millions of people think so because it provides a place for people to fellowship and be known. Is that ultimately not the heart of the church, our faith. To be a place where we are known, not just by a loving God who gave His only son for our salvation, but also by others. Somewhere we are not alone, a place that someone knows our names. I would encourage us not to fall into the trap that our faith is a private and individual thing. We need each other. God calls us to be a part of a community to have the support we always need. As the author of Hebrews states,
...do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
You are not meant to do this life alone. Take the time to try and find a church for the community that both God and you desire. Yes, there are bad churches; you might have been hurt in the past, but realize there are great communities of faith that are waiting to welcome you.
Comparison Two: Daily Pursuit
Every year, it amazes me the dedication, the research, and the hours that people put into the process of fantasy football. Just to get ready for your draft, there are hours upon hours of research to evaluate players, draft scenarios, daily checks of players’ status, injury reports, and how the individual player will be used in their teams’ systems. On top of all that, there is the daily content by expert after expert advising on how to be successful in your league. It truly is amazing the amount of information that one must glean, yet people are willing to put forth the effort because they see the benefit in helping them become successful.
What would happen to our faith if we began to apply a similar strategy and effort as we do with fantasy football? I believe our faith would be energized, renewed, and would inspire others to grow in their faith. So, where do we begin?
Step One: A Daily pursuit of God.
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2
We must begin with a desire to know God. A.W. Tozer, in his book “That Incredible Christian” states, “The greatest need of the human personality is to experience God himself. This is because of who God is and who and what man is.”
This daily pursuit begins with setting aside time to be with God, creating a time for a daily devotional. This time should include scripture reading, prayer, and yes, even listening for God to speak. I know many people feel they don’t know how to do all these things I have just listed. Well, the great news is there are experts in all these areas that you can research, review, and then apply what you learn so that you can grow in your faith and your desire to pursue God. A great place to start is Right Now Media. There are thousands of videos to help you take the steps you need to grow in your faith. The question we must ask is, are we willing to do the work? I hope the answer is yes because I promise you will see transformational change in your life the more you learn to pursue God. If you need help with the next steps, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be glad to answer any questions you might have or help you get started on this daily pursuit of God.
I could make many more comparisons, but I want to leave it here for today. I know that if you connect with God’s church and pursue Him daily, you will experience a truly blessed life.