I am not one who usually adores celebrities, but this past year I did join a fan site of an actor I had admired (note the past tense). I had admired him because of his honesty, humor, and how I was able to relate to his struggles. Fans of all ages, from every walk of life would gush and obsess over this man, keep track of all the news about him, speculate on what he was doing, etc. Some were even ridiculed by friends and family for liking him. Some spared no expense to see his movies or go to events and conventions to see him. One woman’s husband even gave her distributorship of this actor’s movie in her home country as a gift! And many of this man’s fans petitioned and petitioned until the same movie got a general showing across the U.S. This man inspired his fans (and me) to become best friends, share our struggles, to draw, paint, write poetry and stories, learn how to make cool signature graphics, raise money for charity, etc.–all because of one man! And yes, we even prayed for one another. When this actor made an unexpected appearance at a fan convention, you can imagine the astonishment, adoration and gratitude he received, and how they hung on every word. I’m surprised that some of the women there did not faint.

All of this led me to wonder: why don’t I have that type of enthusiasm for the living Son of God? Shouldn’t Christians be Jesus’ most ardent fans? Does he inspire us to make friends, use our talents for his glory, and enthusiastically proclaim our love for him? Do we meditate non-stop on all the wonderful things he is doing today?

My mind works in strange ways sometimes, and all this thinking led me to wonder what a Jesus fan site would be like (who knows, there may already be one out there). It might be a little difficult, since we cannot take any pictures of Jesus today, but nevertheless it should not be hard to keep up with the latest news and stats on what is going on in the kingdom of God, right? And hopefully all the Jesus fans would become the closest of friends–no, brothers and sisters! Everyone would use their talents in some way to glorify God and help each other, and the poor, too. There would be much discussion of what Jesus said, and many prayer requests and good news, etc. It would be one big family. Hmmm… this is starting to sound familiar–i.e., the church.

Of course, that does not mean that such a site would not have its challenges. Just like the fan site needs money to renew its annual server and software costs, and web site administrators and moderators, the church needs member contributions and leaders. But on some of the other things, sometimes I think that churchgoers could learn some lessons from fans. Religion can suck us into a rigid legalism that permits no creativity or change, and becomes a system whereby anyone who wants to express the truth is excoriated if the truth is at odds with the system. Whereas fans may become angry if the object of their admiration decides to change some things, e.g., Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s decision to switch to Hendrick Motorsports next season, they either adjust and follow along or they stop being a fan altogether and leave. But what happens to churchgoers when the Holy Spirit wants to implement some changes? Do we kick and fight them, or grudgingly comply but remain dead on the inside? Or do we slowly let the cares of the world draw us away from our first love? Perhaps this is why Jesus said in Revelations that he would rather that we be hot or cold for him, but not lukewarm. How many lukewarm fans of somebody are out there? I suppose that most people who call themselves a “fan” of a celebrity are usually not lukewarm about him/her, whereas most people who are lukewarm about a celebrity would not call themselves a “fan”. What about Christians?

Perhaps we need to fall in love with our savior again. Maybe sin and its entanglements, or life and its cares have dimmed the fire that was once within us. But it is time to re-light the fire and fan flames again. I speak not only about Christendom in general, but my own faith and walk with God. We could all be better “fans” of Jesus.