Lesson Learned at Last Year’s Dirk vs. LeBron Showdown

May 8th, 2017

Sitting in a loaded stadium watching the Dirk’s Dallas Mavs play LeBron’s Cleveland Cavs-awesome! Lots of energy and “celebrity” watching.

I have been watching professional sports for a while now and have never made the Big Screen. Well, last year, I MADE IT. Well…sort of. Look closely. I am in the gray pull over appearing right above the head of the young man reaching for the camera.  The man next to me, their dad and a great friend of mine, snapped the picture you see below.

As you can see, the seats and camera crew were way up there. A cool pic and a great memory from a great game. The moment came and it was gone. Even though I coaxed the guys to try different things to attract the camera’s attention (I could not help myself-I may or may not have challenged them to take their shirts off and wave them), the moment was over. The event drew my attention towards the Big Screen for the rest of the night as I watched what people would do and how they would do it to get their seconds of fame. Here is what I learned from my people-watching extravaganza.

People want to be seen.

My favorite screen moments were created by people who did not realize they were on the screen. The person next to them nudged them into looking up to the screen. Then the magic happened. Smiles, dancing (sometimes inappropriate), kisses, hugging and overall “this is my moment” behavior. Really, people do crazy things to be seen.

Seen people bring energy.

When the game went into overtime (again, great game) the camera caught one young Mav Fan who, in turn, grabbed the attention of the entire American Airlines Arena. The camera gave him much more than 5 seconds. They used his passion to ramp up the entire place. He pumped his hands, beat his chest and began to yell at the top of his lungs. The crowd responded. The kid who was seen changed the energy of the entire arena. I am certain that this young fan felt directly connected to and impacting a truly great sports moment.



The “Blind Man.”

The woman “at the Well.”

The woman with “the Issue of Blood.”

The man with “a Legion of Demons.”

This is a short list of people in the Gospel Story who wanted to be seen, were seen by Jesus and changed the energy of entire crowds.

Let’s remember that our students (and those we engage with every day in the stores, coffee shops, gyms and places we frequent) desperately want to be seen. That’s why some do crazy things to stand out. They want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be noticed.

As youth ministers, we spend a lot of time being seen by those we are serving and working with. If you want to change the energy in your youth group, start by focusing on the answer that is right before your eyes: the students and adult volunteers the Lord has placed before you.

Place the Big Screen attention you have as a leader on them and watch the energy rise in them and your team.

Oh, your first notion may be to focus on the “franchised” students and volunteers. They are easier and give you more in return right? Wrong. My advice is to not ignore them but focus on students and volunteers who rarely get the Big Screen shot. That’s what Jesus did and it worked out pretty good.

Here is a closing observation. One of the celebrities we watched (through the binoculars) was Mark Cuban. It was cool to watch his passion for his team and game. Even so, the one who stole the show and brought the energy to the Arena?

That young Mav fan-Just sayin’!

[bctt tweet=”Seen People Bring Energy!” username=”ys_scoop”]

David Fraze is Special Assistant to the President of LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY and Manager of DFW Character Coaches for FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES. Based out of North Richland Hills, Texas, David has been a student minister for over 25 years. David is a popular speaker at Youth Events, Public/Private School Events, Ministry Trainings and Seminars. David is a writer who has contributed articles for the YS Blog, ENGAGE, the quarterly journal of The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, Youth Worker Journal, Journal of Student Ministries, and the Fuller Youth Institute. David serves as a Ministry Coach for YOUTH SPECIALTIES, speaker for STICKY FAITH, and serves as Character Coach for Richland High School Football and Athletics. He has been married to Lisa for 25 years. They have two children, Braeden and Shelbee.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.