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Four Things Churches Can Learn From Dragon Con (Part 2)

September 19, 2012

 Continuing from my previoust post, we now go to the third thing that churches can learn from Dragon Con… 

  3) Passion!  An understatement to say the least.  Man, the energy that consumes the convention among the Brethren of Nerds and Geeks is absolutely overwhelming!  In spite of the     vendor halls promoting and selling tags, shirts, pins, and stickers bashing Christian’s (a subject for another time given I was there to celebrate our common interests) I have to really hand it to the crowd, they sure know how share their passion for white-knuckled fandom!  Everyone is having a great time and they let that energy pass from one high five to another.  Again, celebrating what makes them collectively tick and doing it rather well.  Not to say that a given Sunday service isn’t “always” exciting or spiritually elevated but I recognize the consistency by which my fellow geeks excel at it. It’s the kind of passion that really attracts one to see what they’re all about. Well, that’s the kind of passion I believe we need to consistently live out if we are to attract others to see what “we’re” all about.

A compelling attraction brought on by a true passion, demonstrating active compassion which can ultimately tear away the many stigmas’ inaccurately characterizing the faith these days.  We share it wisely; share it in acceptance and always in love. And in doing so, celebrate what makes us tick and then pass that kind of excitement from one waiting high-five to another! But that passion has to be active first in our own lives before we can ever offer it up to anyone else.  So it’s passion that naturally leads in to my final point of what churches can learn from the Con and that’s being…. 

 4) Unapologetically Bold     Listen, I truly believe Convention folks have re-defined this term in ways I can’t even describe.  Oh yeah! I mean in their exquisite costuming, people wear everything to almost practically nothing without a second thought. The same goes for those who collect books, toys, shirts, write short stories, play games till five in the morning, or whatever  fan track’s they commit to sitting through the entire weekend. It’s in their boldness that they lower their guard, lose any and all inhibitions, and unapologetically profess “Yo, I’m a Geek, I wear it proudly on my sleeve (or lack thereof) and I simply don’t care what you think of me!” And that stance is not only rampant but encouraged among the thousands present.  Why? Because there’s confidence and security in numbers.

When you’re among thousands of people with like interests and sharing it with excitement, you realize, you’re not the only geek out there. So you not only become bold for just those three days, you take that boldness or that confidence home with you and don’t go anywhere else without it. Well here we go…we should do the same. And no, I’m not talking about being odd for God or the zealot we encountered on the corner after a Con parade yelling “Turn or Burn, or you gonna Die and Fry!” No! There is a difference in boldly professing interests and hobbies than slamming your worldview in someone’s face. God expects spiritual Fruit NOT religious Nuts!

A brilliant quote from one my favorite Apologists just sprang to mind, “After you’ve cut off a person’s nose, there’s no point in offering them a rose to smell”. Any attempts profoundly undermines all pronouncements as to who we are as Christ followers. That said, we (as a church) cannot afford to play American Express and leave home without Christ.  If I claim to love His teachings, His sacrifice, and accepting a life in stride with Him…how can I possibly consider leaving my love for Jesus at home? That’s like saying to my wife, “Honey, I want to hold your hand, kiss and hug you, and tell you that I love you, but only when I’m at home with you. And wherever we go outside of it, you be sure to keep your distance…Ok?”. Seriously? And in adopting that idea how are we ever to demonstrate or share who God is?  I have witnessed those who claim the faith become more and more guarded when someone walks by their conversation about church or anything to do with a life in Christ. It’s a hush-hush knee jerk reaction! No, you’re not the only one out there. Grow your confidence by being among those who will encourage you and challenge your faith. Get connected into Life Groups and become active in fellowship through corporate Sunday worship or even through local missions.

That encouragement (along with committed studies) will grant you the confidence to talk out your faith and allow it to be heard.  Proclaim your statements boldly and in love so that the person overhearing it just might want to hear more.  And if they want to engage…receive them and invite them into your conversation!  Boldly Profess where No One Has Professed Before! Sorry, obviously could not be helped.  Also, stay compassionate in spite of any criticism. Understand that in many occasions, it’s in your reaction to such criticisms that will make the biggest impression. After all, you may be the only bible a person will ever read. So wear it well on your sleeve and don’t waiver from the message that endears us to those in need of hearing it. Church family, this is what’s needed to make an impact and if you read about it further; it’s all we’re supposed to do. We’re to boldly share our faith. It’s not up to us as to whether the person we share it with will accept it, a mistake I see way too often.  Once shared, that decision is solely between them and God. But we have to represent every area of Christianity as best as we possibly can and do it unapologetically.

Well, there it is in its entire splendor and I do hope you enjoyed this rather cheeky expose. Not expecting to have everyone agree with my views but it is just that, my personal views.  I believe we do things well as a church but there’s always room to improve and to learn universal principles from a given source.

The Con offered great experiences and great insight. There were many costumes and many wonderful coats adorned that weekend. And through all my excitement in those three days and dressing up in costume for one of those nights, the coat of Christianity is the one I’ve chosen to adorn daily and also for the rest of my life. I’m nowhere near perfect nor do I ever pretend to be.   I am just living out this life the best way that I can and I surely want to represent my fandom for Christ by loving on people (from all walks and all beliefs) as best as I’m able. Hopefully demonstrating what it means to wear such a coat.  And however long I’m granted to be here, I pray that my practice of essential unity, my knowledge and passion on the subject as well as my unapologetic stance, can be thoughtfully witnessed by everyone closest to me and by those I’ll meet only once.

So that in the end, their offered testimony is simply stated; “Daddy, Babe, Son, Bro, Buddy,  Geek, Tim Roman… you wore that coat well.”

Live Long and Prosper in His Glory and May That Force Be With You Always,

Your Puerto Rican Deacon

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