A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to visit South Korea. While there, the family I was staying with invited me to attend a professional baseball game with their son. They told me it was vastly different than our American baseball.
Being a huge baseball fan, it wasn’t hard to convince me to go. Just before we left for the ballpark, my new Korean friend asked me to wear his prized Twins jersey. Turns out a tall American - at a Korean baseball park - wearing a Twins jersey creates quite a stir. I think that was my friend’s intent.
We showed up to the stadium and found our seats. And, I have to say I was extremely surprised. Korean baseball fans love their baseball. The Koreans have done an amazing job of creating a crazy baseball culture for the fans that truly turns them into participants. These fans sang, cheered, clapped, and danced for their team. It was like a mix between American World Series baseball and World Cup Soccer. Don’t believe me – check out the video below.
“Participation” is such an important key in our walk with Christ. Jesus never called us as followers to sit on the sideline and simply watch church happen. We are called to go – to make disciples – to teach – to serve – to give – to care – to impact the world. The challenge for us as leaders in the church is to create an atmosphere of participation. An atmosphere that encourages imperfect people to get involved, to allow God to stretch and use them for His glory.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still love American baseball. I just have a new appreciation for how the Korean baseball fans participate in the game. If you ever get a chance to visit South Korea (which I highly recommend) I suggest you catch a baseball game. It’s a great cultural experience!