When I look at believers in general and […] the way church is set up, I fear, sometimes, that we are training believers to sit and watch. And you can only sit and watch for so long until you go home and you don’t have your own faith […] you need someone else’s story, someone else’s testimony to get you fired up.

These words by Casting Crowns frontman, Mark Hall, hit the nail on the head. Our culture conditions us to be spectators: kicking back at the movie theatre, reclining in front of the TV, laying in bed scrolling through our social media feed until something tickles our interest. It’s easy to let that mindset affect our participation in Christian community. We watch the band play, listen to the sermon, maybe talk to a few people and go home. And as we pull out of the parking lot, we might even wonder: What did I just get out of that?

I have to admit that I find Christianity boring if it’s reduced to Sunday services. If we’re looking to be entertained for an hour, there are much better ways out there.

When I’m coasting along passively at church and in my relationship with God, a nagging discontentment starts to set in: There’s got to be more than this!

And of course, in my head, I know there is. I’ve seen lives transformed. God has used me in some remarkable ways in the past. I can point out the milestones. I can even recite Jesus’ promise of abundant life by memory like a good Sunday-school student (John 10:10).

That’s not enough for me, or for any of us. When we take a seat on the sidelines, we step away from where God is most actively at work. We miss out on the blessing of being used by him to reach others.

Why sit and watch when you can play?

The abundant life doesn’t come to those who just wait for it to happen. God is more than willing to make our lives abundantly full, but we have to want it enough to seek it.

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9).

What would happen if we took a few minutes each morning to renew our commitment to Jesus with a prayer like this:

Dear Jesus, I want you in the center of my life and commit to serve and obey you throughout this day, trusting in your power to do so. Anytime. Anywhere. At any cost. To do anything.

We’d be ready for action, fully expecting him to use us in amazing ways, which by the way, he totally would! Are you ready?

updated September 2019

Photo Credit: Alexandre Chambon