Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

A Lesson Learned From The “Cameron Crazies”…

          Early this college basketball season, I had the opportunity to attend a Duke basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. If you have never attended a game with the “Cameron Crazies” you should definitely put it on your “bucket list.” It was an amazing experience.

            Not only are the Duke students known for their enthusiastic support for their basketball team, their creative cheers, and their unique attire, but they also taught me an important lesson in hospitality that night.

            This game was also the occasion for a couple of high school recruits to make their campus visit. Part of their visit included attendance at the Duke basketball game.

            As soon as the high school recruits entered the stadium, the student body erupted in cheers. One of the students held up a life size cut out of the prospect wearing a Duke basketball uniform. Later on during the game, one of the students held up a large banner addressed to the prospect’s mother that read, “We will take good care of your son!” As the game wore on, the students did cheers inviting the prospect to come to Duke.

            As I watched the antics of the Cameron Crazies, I thought how the church could learn a lesson from their example. I thought how I would feel if I was that prospect sitting in the crowd that night. The Crazies clearly made the high school prospects feel welcome and wanted. They cheered when the prospects entered the building. They called them by name with great enthusiasm. They unashamedly encouraged them to become part of their community. Even though they were not personally acquainted with these prospects, they made them know they would accept them into their midst, and the gifts and talents they would bring would make their program better and stronger.

            Years ago the Apostle Paul exhorted the church to “always be eager to practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).

            How would our churches today be different if we were “always eager” to show hospitality to those in our midst?

            How would our churches today be different if we were more concerned about making outsiders feel welcome and wanted, than simply looking out for the needs of the insiders?

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