I don't know about you, but I don't play football anymore. I used to love to play football. But at 62, football is not exactly my thing. I watch the Dallas Cowboys play football.
I don't play basketball anymore. We watch the San Antonio Spurs play basketball. And that spectator-itis—which is really characteristic of the twentieth century—is relatively harmless in these areas of enjoyment and recreation and entertainment that we get from professional sports. It's one of the lavish gifts of the electronic age. We can see the finest athletes in the world regularly in our homes. And that's good.
But if that spirit invades the church—which I believe is exactly what it's done, that spectator-itis—that is not harmless. That's hellish.
Is the church a theater or a body? When we talk serious church—not just "play church" but serious church—what are we talking about? We are talking about nothing more nor less than the Kingdom of God. We are talking about nothing more nor less than those of us who want to be a part of the answer to Jesus' prayer, "Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."
This classic audio recording of Howard Butt, Jr., is from his talk called "Jesus the Enabler" delivered in 1989 at Laity Lodge in Leakey, Texas.
"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' "