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A Thrilling Experience
I suspect it is safe to assume that the majority of us were thrilled when our San Antonio Spurs won their second NBA championship earlier this Summer. I believe I can also safely guess that the level of excitement and participation was different with each individual. You may be wondering "What participation? I'm just a fan." Well, consider this: It is true that the team itself could only have twelve players on the roster at any given time. It is also true that even though some teams have the most talented players, championships are won by those who play the best as a team. And if you think that the Spurs success depended on the twelve players only, you are greatly mistaken. Even the players will admit that they couldn't have succeeded without the participation of the owner, general manager, staff, head coach and his assistants, and yes, even the fans. And please don't minimize the part the fans played in all of this. Let's not forget that these are the ones that cheered them on, greeted them at the airport, bought the tickets, souveniers, all the team paraphenalia, and followed the games on TV and radio. No fans means no team. Also, I can guarantee you that no player could have been more thrilled with the title than its fans, or any other member of the Spurs organization. You see, everyone was equally excited because they felt just as much a part of the team as the players themselves. The process is not too much different with church. I bet most pastors wish their members would be just as actively excited as are the Spurs fans. They wish their members would happily say, "This is my team!" There are some differences, of course. For example, local churches where the name of Christ is exalted and His Truth preached, should never be in competition. After all, there is only one church, and it is the Lord's. On the other hand, and regardless of your personal opinion about your church and pastor, the Church of Jesus Christ, is and will always be, victorious. They say everyone loves a winner. If that is the case, then there is no reason why you should not love your church. In church also, there are many ways to participate. There are the visible participants, like the pastors, teachers, singers, musicians, etc. Aside from the Lord, the success of these participants depends on those not readily seen. With these also, no members means no church. It is the members who encourage and pray for the visible participants. It is they who give, witness, and invite. Going back to my original subject , I was reminded of the day, many years ago, when a co-worker asked me if I was a Spurs fan. I immediately said that I was, and he responded just as fast: "How come I never see you at the games?" The two main reasons were this: First, I had little room in my budget for it, and secondly, my life was pretty filled up with activity that centered around church and it's ministry. Even so, I saw or listened to as many Spurs' games as my schedule would allow. In my mind, I felt I was a good Spurs fan, but my friend saw it differently. In his eyes, If I didn't go to all the home games, then I was not a real fan. Dear reader, are you a real church member? In summary, I was thrilled with the Spurs championship. It was exciting to be a part of a winning team. Nevertheless, I am thrilled even more that I have a part in a greater team. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ! 
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