I was a high school cheerleader.
I would love to tell you that I ran track or played soccer in high school but Title IX wasn’t the law until I was almost done with my secondary education, so there were few options to don uniforms devoid of pom poms.
It occurs to me, though, that cheerleading was excellent preparation for pastoring.
I learned how to stand in front of large (or not so large) crowds and proclaim things. I learned how to keep my hair out of my face. I learned how to bolster spirits and be part of a team.
Last night – and on many nights over the past several years – I tapped my inner cheerleader for Jesus. As I talk with weary people who haven’t experienced many ecclesiastical victories lately, offering a message about something bigger than themselves. Yes, this all sounds very hokey, but it’s true.
Our people need to hear a simple message and it’s a message of hope – not the hope of “winning” but the hope of community and reaching out to broken people because we are broken too. The pom poms are gone but honestly we need some heartfelt cheering in these days. I’m not talking about ridiculous, inauthentic “cheering up.” I’m talking about being courageous in the face of darkness. Who doesn’t need to hear this?