LIFEGroup Reflections

Last week I went to a Muskegon Fury game with my LIFEGroup. I love sports. I’ve always found the connection between a fan and a sport to be a strange thing. How is it that we get emotionally connected to a group of people who we’ve never met? How is it that we attach some part of our self worth to whether or not five guys can put more pucks in a net than five other guys?

This phenomenon is especially strange in Michigan. When it comes to the U of M and Michigan State rivalry almost everyone has an opinion. What astounds me is that a great majority of the people who are passionate about the rivalry have never attended either school. When someone asks me if I root for the Green and White or the Maize and Blue, I ask them which of the two schools they went to.

Fortunately I had the pleasure of attending Michigan State and I have had the first hand experience necessary to make such a judgment. The correct opinion is that State is the superior institution. The only proper way to evaluate a University is by its basketball program. The difference is clear. Izzo is a genius. Does U of M even have a basketball team any more?

I’m also astounded at the distain some people show for church. It’s especially surprising when that person has no real experience with a church. I’ve heard a lot of people say things like “I’d go to church but it’s full of hypocrites.” I’ve never been quite sure what that means. If you wanted to avoid hypocrites you couldn’t leave the house. Still, for whatever reason, many people outside the church, who have no experience with the church, have a negative view of the church.

So how can we change people’s view of the church when they won’t come to church? Like some guy once said “You can’t stop people from not showing up.” I guess if we want people to experience the church we are going to have to bring the church to them.

So last week our LIFEGroup brought the church to the Muskegon Fury game. I brought a friend of mine who doesn’t attend a church. This was his first experience of Calvary church. My friend is a little rough around the edges. I’m not sure he’d feel comfortable in a Sunday morning service. I am sure that he was comfortable hanging out with the church at the hockey game. I am also sure that God wants him to be a part of the body of Christ.

My hope is that after a couple of comfortable church experiences my friend might find himself comfortable in the LIFEGroup. I think it’s important for LIFEGroups to go out and do normal things. It gives the world a chance to see the wonderful work God is doing in us. It gives the world a chance to see the love God has shown us as we show it to one another. I have no doubt that God will bring the lost to the church. But I also have no doubt that God wants us to bring the gospel to the lost. Maybe the Muskegon Fury sounds like a weird place to bring the church. Maybe it shouldn’t.