God Is Not a Sport’s Team


I’m guilty of it. I’ve asked the question among hundreds in an audience while leading worship,

“Why can’t we get excited about God like we do a sports team?”

I’m sure you’ve heard the exact same question. It’s a valid question in one aspect. I mean we do get pretty excited when our favorite team scores. I go crazy folks, I go crazy when the Cardinals hit a home run. You should have seen me watching game six of the 2011 World Series. No, that would have probably been as embarrassing as David’s wife was when he went dancing naked in the streets because the arc had been returned to Israel.

But in another aspect, it’s not a valid question. Because our favorite sports team is just that, a sports team. They’re not God even though we paint them to be. I mean they could be god, I guess (little g) but they’re not Yahweh! I assume we’re really trying to ask why can’t we have the same enthusiasm for God as we do our favorite sports team. That could be a valid question too. But let’s look at the reality of it.

The biggest sports fan:

  • They wear a hat, shirt, bracelets, necklace, earrings, and any other fashion accessory with the sport’s team logo on it.
  • Their house has tons of trinkets, and pictures and Fat Heads and decorations and the man cave could be considered for the team mascot’s lair.
  • They have emblems and stickers and flags all over their car and quite possibly the car is painted the team’s colors with seat covers and floorboard mats with the team colors and logo.
  • They know every stat for every team member past and present and unique information that only the true die-hard would even care to know.
  • They go to every game, they are the loudest and most obnoxious, and they keep up with live stats through each game.

Know anybody like that? Those are the ones who are going crazy at sport’s events. So you want Christians to be like that? What would that look like?

The biggest God fan:

  • They wear shirts, hats, bracelets, necklaces, or any other fashion accessory with a cross or fish on them.
  • Their house has trinkets, pictures, crucifixes even as far as having a real closet they go in to pray
  • They have stickers and emblems all over their car with seat covers and floor mats with crosses and fish on them
  • They can recite every famous passage of scripture, even the ones buried deep in Leviticus and Obadiah that no-one knows about.They know Greek and Hebrew thanks to Vine’s and wrote their own systematic theology
  • They go to church every Sunday, Sunday night, Tuesday night prayer service, Wednesday night bible study, Thursday night Pot Luck, and Saturday morning women’s/men’s breakfast.
  • They sing the loudest, know all the popular worship songs, and best hymns and makes sure everyone else knows they know them

Is that how you want a Christian to act? Personally, I don’t. I want Christians to be authentic. I want them to hurt when they hurt, not put on a facade. I want them to worship in spirit and truth, and not what others say worship looks like. I want them to speak of Jesus in public communication when led to and not because it’s the Christian thing to do. I don’t want a God fan, I want God followers.

The world sees authenticity by how you look. God sees authenticity by what you faithfully do. The world stereotypes, God accepts all types. The world says you gotta fit a mold, God says He molds you.

God is not a sports team. So I’m thinking we should lay off the pressure of treating Him like one. What do you think?

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Associate Pastor of GraceLife Church, author of Faith Debugged, musician and baseball enthusiast

6 Responses to God Is Not a Sport’s Team

  1. gabe says:

    You’re right, God’s not a sports team. But he wears a cheesehead, so I know he’s a sports fan. Lol, just kidding. Cool post Kevin. I think you’ve put that one to rest.

  2. D. Stewart says:

    The truth of the matter is, that team sports of all sorts with the backing of the media has believers and non believers alike separated from God. We can’t serve two masters. We’re either for God or against Him. All sports are based and rooted in money(the root of all evil). Sports glorify man and not not God. The people in the stands and the ministers and congregations that rush out of services of worship early in order to watch ball games have made the athelets idols. We have bowed down to one of Satan’s most powerful tools. There are places across America that shut the whole town down for high school football games. But, there isn’t one day that this nation advertises a Nation Wide day of worship to the God of Israel the way that the super bowl is done. I would leave with saying God bless but, I’m going to have to go with God Help!

  3. R. Steven Ruley says:

    Hearing athletes praise god for their achievements in any venue is to assume god is hanging
    around planet earth. Because the power and conception of god is so far beyond the human mind, athletes who attribute their victories and talents to god need to appraise their own
    genetic gifts, which have simply been given to them by their parents. The rest comes from
    lots of hard work. When an athlete wins, he or she deserves most of the credit. God is 17
    universes away and is in a time zone physicists have yet to invent. Do you really think the
    human mind has evolved far enough to contemplate god, and then express what his
    plans are?

  4. Kevin Riner says:

    Through faith I couldn’t disagree with you more, Steven. But thanks for reading and commenting. I do have to ask, do you believe in God or are you a deist of some sort?

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