Coach Lightfoot talking to his 2012-13 team.

As we approach college football bowl games and the NFL playoffs , here’s some food for thought from Bethel men’s basketball coach, Mike Lightfoot. These observations come from watching spectators at over 1000 games he has coached during his career.

’Tis the season of college football bowl games and the NFL playoffs. Stadiums are filled with fans wearing the jersey of “their” team. This is fun and awesome, but it’s rather amazing to see this because most of the people who wear those jerseys have never played the game.

This reminds me of the fact that as followers of Christ, we too wear a jersey, but it is an “original jersey” — not a replica. This jersey is free to us, but it was purchased for us with the high price of Jesus’ blood. Ephesians 4:24 speaks about the godly jersey that we put on daily, that of God’s righteousness and holiness. But unlike the jerseys that we see in the stands, this jersey requires us to be in the game. We are no longer just a spectator.

Having said this, I do believe there are some “fan behaviors” that can be an example for us as Christians.

1.        Fans show up to the game. As Christians, we need to show up where the action is and be involved in the game of a godly life.

2.       The fans know the songs. They sing the school song and alma mater loudly and with pride. As Christians we need to sing praises loudly and with spirits of gratitude.

3.       The fans know the stats — especially fantasy players. They look at the stats and memorize them. As Christians, we need to know God’s playbook — the Bible — and memorize His Word.

4.       A fan is excited in the stadium. They show emotion and care deeply for their team. As Christians we should demonstrate excitement about our faith and share the good news with others.

So the next time we watch a game and see all the jerseys in the stands, may this picture remind us that we as Christians wear Christ’s jersey, a jersey that requires us to get in the game.