Sports as Worship
I love sports! It doesn't seem long ago that I was playing sports in High School, though it was almost 20 years ago. How can sports be a part of our worship experience? Let me present a few options:
As a reminder, worship is giving God EVERYTHING! Living our lives as a "complete sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service" (or divine worship) Romans 12:1. Understanding the focus of our life is to glorify God, or as my Pastor (Pastor Mike from Fellowship Baptist Church) puts it, "putting a smile on the face of God", we can view sports as an opportunity to do so.
If you’re a parent, there is a considerable risk of teaching our children to "worship" sports. For instance, in youth ministry, I have noticed the trend of a "performance at all cost" mentality being taught in the lives of the students. I quote my Pastor a lot and am going to do it again here :) "It's not what you SAY, it's what you TOLERATE". As parents, we can tell our kids the importance of church, and the need to be faithful to the body of believers; yet, with our actions, we allow them to skip church for homework that they didn't get to because of a practice that was mandatory, and so on. Now, I am not discouraging sporting activities, just making a point that we must be diligent to speak truth, and not tolerate behavior that presents confusion in the mind of our students.
As individuals (whether young or old), how does sports offer itself as worship? The most mentioned professional player right now is Tim Tebow. There is a word now that defines someone who gets down on one knee and prays even when everyone else is doing something different. It's called "TEBOWING". What a great example of someone who is using the art of sport to bring glory to God. Tim Tebow definitely sacrifices for the cause of bringing glory to God. Many mock and are now asking "where's your God now?" after the Broncos loss in the playoffs. Those who are still engaged in sports have a great way to worship God. Are we maintaining godly behaviors during the game? Do we say things that are God-honoring? Are we "tebowing" when we can to be an example of one who is committed to the Lord? Just some thoughts to ponder.
As fans, we can worship God through sports. I have a friend who is a football NUT (Lee, you know who you are:) But guess what, every Sunday he is in his place serving the Lord at our church; He even shows up on Super Bowl Sunday:) I will not confirm or deny whether or not he was checking updates on his phone...) We can worship God by inviting people over to our home to fellowship and use a sporting event as the main draw. We can worship God by taking a needy family, child, someone in our church to a game to give them an opportunity to experience something they otherwise may not be able. Many other ways are possible...would love hearing your comments on how we can use sports to glorify God!