FORT SMITH, AR (BP) – This fall, like every other fall, the most densely populated pieces of real estate in many cities and towns are high school football stadiums on Friday night.
The cheers, the band, the clashing of helmets and shoulder pads and the voice of the announcer ring through the cool night air, creating an electrifying atmosphere. It is one of the significant places where "life happens," fostering lifelong memories and relationships.
When Jesus walked this earth, He intentionally spent time in the places where "life happens." Water wells, markets, outer temple courts, seasides and even wedding celebrations.
Jesus spent time among the masses. And within those masses were families and individuals with whom He interacted and even shared meals. He expressed love and kindness to both the young and the elderly, to the rich and the poor, to the simple and the educated, and to the socially prominent and the outcast.
As believers, we are commanded to be "salt and light" and to be witnesses and make disciples. This requires that believers be with people who need Christ. The easiest way to do this is the way Jesus did -- intentionally being among others and sharing life with them.
In your town, is there a better place to do this than at a football game? If there's a better place, go there. But if not, go to some high school football games. Meet people, foster relationships and be where "life happens." And when you go to games, don't just sit with your church friends. Make an effort to go out of your way to meet people, learn their names, understand family connections and share life together.
Would Jesus go to a high school football game? It's a hypothetical question, but I believe He desires to be there now. As believers, we should intentionally take Christ and "be Christ" in our culture. And in many communities, a big part of our culture is high school football.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric W. Ramsey is an evangelism and mission strategist serving as associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Ark. He is a former president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists. This column first appeared in the Arkansas Baptist News (www.arkansasbaptist.org/news), newsjournal of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.