Chances are if we meet and I learn you have never watched Seinfeld, I will be very dramatic, very loud and tell you that YOU MUST watch it. If you have never had a made from scratch oatmeal cookie, I will invite you over to my house and have you pop a squat and make some for you right there. We all have things that we are BIG fans of. movies, songs, Tv shows, books, there are things that we walk around basically promoting, we are big big fans. But what about when it comes to Jesus?
The other night, I was at a special worship experience in my college town, and my pastor, Ryan Staarup from Elevation said " I was tired of just being a fan, I wanted to be a founder". It wasn't until 10 minutes ago when I sat down to write this, that that really hit me, and for three reasons.
1. The first is becoming a "fan" of Jesus. It is easy to rave and rave about something easy that you love, when you know at the end of the day, no one is really going to judge you or criticize you, for your love of oatmeal cookies. Change what you are raving about to Jesus, and we start to get hesitant about who we may be raving about Him to, and when, and where. If we are true fans, we should be fans all the time, in every situation, with every person, in every place. Now that is something you have to work towards, MYSELF INCLUDED. That has been the biggest thing Jesus has been putting on my heart, is to stop apologizing for my faith, because at the end of the day my faith is who I am, and I am not sorry. This is what Jesus died for, for us to proclaim his teachings and spread His word, that is what God intended. But being a fan is not what God wanted us to be, yes it is a start but it's not the end.
2. I viewed that as the first part of our journey, because the beautiful thing, is that we have a God that has involved us in His plan, so we can go from being a fan to being a founder! What I mean by this, is think of your favorite movie, a movie that you are a very big fan of, now think about if the next step would be to step into that film and play your favorite role, you can be a part of it. THAT IS WHAT WE GET TO DO. We get to not only be advocates for God's grace and love and word, we get the chance to be a part of it, to reach people, to have God work through us. Not only do we get to worship Him, we get to be in a relationship that provides us with something we could never give ourselves. Being a fan is awesome, but it becomes about praising something, about seeing something from the outside and wishing you were on the inside. To me that is the difference between religion and a relationship. Being a fan of Jesus will only get you so far, becoming a founder and starting a true relationship is what God intended.
3. The last thing that hit me is, when you love something and cherish is, you cherish it in every season. That song that brings a smile, you will listen to it when you feel on top of the world, or when you feel like you are just broken beyond fixing. You will watch your favorite movie on the days you feel like nothing can stop you, and you will ache to watch it so it can lift you back up off the ground. I used to think I could only be a FAN of God when I am broken and in hard season, but the truth is, God aches for us to be founders in every season, however an d wherever we are. He WANTS US HOW WE ARE, He will use you on your best days and He will use you on your worst, and the fact of the matter is, it is up to us to open our hearts and let Him. Truthfully I believe with all my heart, the closest I have come to God is in the moments when I was afraid He wouldn't want me, or when I didn't feel worthy, but all those thoughts are coming from MY mind, not God's. I finally realized this, and it is as if my world lit up, at the end of the day all I needed was to realize God is right beside me, in the darkness, or in the the coming light and that is something that was welcomed and unchanging.
Once I realized this for myself, for the first time ever I think I truly felt ready to be a founder, to stop apologizing for my faith, to come to God as I was, to open my heart, because I realized I was tired of being a fan. I was tired of wishing for a humble heart, wishing for greater courage, for a community, I was tired of being a fan of a relationship that I could receive.
So, make that leap from Fan to Founder and go have yourself an oatmeal cookie