Living as a Front Runner

15 Aug

When I was a boy, my favorite sports teams all had one thing in common: they were all up and coming teams receiving all kinds of media attention. Growing up in ACC country, my favorite basketball team was Virginia, in the age of 7’4″ Ralph Sampson and sharp-shooting forward Jeff Lamp. My favorite baseball team was the Montreal Expos, with Gary Carter and Andre Dawson and Tim Raines. My favorite football team was the San Diego Chargers led by quarterback Dan Fouts and receivers like James Lofton and Kellen Winslow. My favorite pro basketball team was the 76ers of Dr. J and Moses Malone and Bobby Jones, who put up a challenge to the Lakers and Celtics.

Now as I look back on my favorite teams, as I think about the far-flung nature of my allegiances (from San Diego to Montreal to Philadelphia), I realize that what I was really doing in those days was following fads. We didn’t have teams of our own back then in the Carolinas, so most people liked the Braves and the Redskins and the Tarheels or Wolfpack or Blue Devils. I wanted something new, something fresh. So I went with the trendy thing. But none of those trends lasted very long. In fact, every one of the teams I followed turned out to be pretty lousy teams over the next three decades. When I think back on those days now, I feel foolish. I don’t follow any of those teams any more. I feel about them kind of like some people feel about parachute pants and leg warmers and mullets. I want to put it in the “Things we don’t bring up in every day conversation” file.

I wonder if the Church will one day see much of what it is doing in our day as just chasing after fads. There are seeker-sensitive fads and emergent fads and traditionalist fads and multi-site fads and marketing fads and conversational church fads and all kinds of other things which are more about style than substance. I wonder if one day large swaths of the Church in North America will feel duped by all the marketing? Will we realize that for the most part we just bought a hyped-up fad and made it what we were all about? And this can even happen with good things like the Gospel-centered movement or movements that emphasize the family.

I’m just not that interested in being part of a movement. It’s too easy to get swept up into things that have nothing to do with what is important. Let me be part of a Bible-loving, cross-centered people who love God and want to know Him and make Him known, and I’m good with that. Lord, let me be faithful where you have put me, let me fight with all my might for the truth of your Word.

One Response to “Living as a Front Runner”

  1. Lynn D August 15, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Leg warmers a fad? Nah… 🙂

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