Fellowship, Community, and College Football

Change is in the air. You can feel it. You can smell it. You can see it. And, if you listen closely, you can hear it.

From stadiums across the country, the roar of a community gathered around its team has begun. Everyone is ready for this year’s action; it’s time for the kickoff. College Football is back.

Like an announcement of the new season, this weekend will be a physical reminder of what is happening. As whistles blow, players will finally put into action their offseason efforts and teams will be born.

And there we will be, cheering them on. A community of people, the cheering section; in a way, our own part of the team.

Yes, part of the team.

MJ at one of his first NC State games

MJ at one of his first NC State games

As I thought about the upcoming season, I couldn’t stop thinking about this community of people passionately supporting their teams. A group of people with common goals, rallying around each other to champion their team to victory. The success of the team, of those on the field, is often determined by those in the stands. It is their encouragement, their support, that motivates the players to greatness.

Not that I could replicate the passion for college athletics, but I’ve used its model to build a community around this message; this charge to redefine rich.

So, this week, I launched the Live Richly Community, a private Facebook group for individuals who would like to embrace a richer experience. This group is nothing more than a private place, away from the news feed, to have open conversations with other people; people with common goals.

My idea was that this community could begin championing each other on to richness, and it’s already begun. 

A place for encouragement, generosity, and gratitude.

The Live Richly Community

The idea for me comes out of 1 John 1:7–

“If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another.”

Fellowship on the journey is key. Much like Bilbo Baggins has Samwise Gamgee, in The Lord of the Rings. Much like Luke Skywalker had Han Solo in Star Wars. In the same way Paul had Timothy and Jesus had His disciples.

It is in community where richness is fully experienced. It is in community where richness thrives.

The words of Peter in his second letter echo this charge:

“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love…For if you do these things, you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  [2 Peter 1:5-11]

As we grow in our faith, we blossom and begin to bear fruit that culminates in brotherly kindness and love.

I don’t assume that this group will be for all of you and that is okay. But I did want to provide a place for those looking for community, for guidance, for conversation, for brotherly kindness.

Regardless of where it is, find community somewhere. Fear hates community. It thrives in the darkness, taking root when you’re alone. Seek community. Find a cause that moves you deeply and champion its growth.

Just like the excitement that awaits with the upcoming football season, embrace this season of life.

Stand up, cheer loudly, and fight for your team.


QUESTION: This weekend, I’ll be pulling for my NC State Wolfpack, what about you?

Carter-Finley Statdium full of raving fans

Carter-Finley Statdium full of raving fans

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8 Responses to Fellowship, Community, and College Football

  1. Kathy Shaw Spillers August 30, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Already celebrating a great game by my Texas A&M Aggies! Whoop! Looking forward to being a part of the cheering section in the Live Richly Community, as well!

    • Matt Ham August 30, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      They played Great! Huge win! We’re glad to have you, Kathy.

  2. Larry Carter August 30, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Pulling for my UT Vols

    • Matt Ham August 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      My Pack is fighting. Who do ya’ll have today?

      • Larry Carter August 31, 2014 at 5:06 am #

        We are playing Sunday night. We have Utah State. It’s on the SEC Network, if you need a football fix after church.

  3. Jon Stallings August 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Georgia Tech – started off with an easy game today – So they are now 1 & 0

    • Matt Ham August 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      My Wolfpack scored with 1:37 to go to take their 1st lead of the game. Ga Tech comes tp Raleigh this year; always a good game!

  4. Jon Stolpe September 1, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    We Are Penn State!