Written by Daniel Mahannah, Middle School Pastor, NewSpring Church
“We are the champions, my friend.” Sing it with me, “and we’ll keep on fighting to the end.” Don’t you love that song? Some of us weren’t alive in 1977 when the song was written by Freddie Mercury and recorded and performed by British rock band Queen. But we still know the song because it has not only became a worldwide success, but it remains to this day among rock music’s most recognizable anthems. Everyone loves that song, especially at sporting events. And who hasn’t imagined that song playing in the background as the soundtrack to our lives during great moments of victory. It’s a classic.
I think we enjoy that song because it speaks to our heartfelt desire to be champions. We like winning: sports games, board games, dance competitions, raffles, races, bets, arguments, debates, relationships The list goes on and on. Winning is important to all of us in some fashion. All of us desire to proclaim, “We are the champions.” I’m sure there are studies that analyze why human beings desire to win, but I think it’s just natural. I think it’s been hardwired in us to want to succeed – to be champions. But, maybe we were meant for more than just winning at sports games and debates.
According to dictonary.com, the word “champion” is defined this way: “a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place.” That’s a pretty basic, self-explanatory definition. However, there were four more definitions after that and the fourth and fifth definitions add so much more weight to the word “champion.” Take a look: “a person who fights for or defends any person or cause” and “a fighter or warrior.” That’s the kind of champion I want to be.
As a middle school pastor, I feel the weight of the word “champion.” Middle school students are in a phase of life that is so often misunderstood and misrepresented. They are in a season of life that’s full of discovery, changes, and difficulty. Every day is different from the last and they are trying to find their way. They are making decisions that will shape the rest of their life – and most of the time they don’t even know it. They need and desire to know that they matter and that they have a purpose. They need positive Godly influences in their life that can help affirm their personal journey. What do they a really need? A champion. They don’t need to be a champion – but someone to be their champion. They need someone who’s more than just a first place winner in a series of competitions. They need a person who is fighting for them and defending their phase of life. A fighter. A warrior.
As a middle school pastor, that’s what I get to do. I work along with an amazing team of staff and volunteers and we get to be champions for middle school students. I don’t mean that we are champions in their eyes, but we are fighting for them and their phase of life. It’s our desire that middle school students are told over an over again that their phase of life matters. Middle school is not just a waiting period for the rest of life – it’s probably the most important phase of a person’s life and we don’t want to miss it. And we especially don’t want them to miss it. Middle school matters.
I think that most of us truly desire to be that kind of champion, the kind that is fighting for something significant in this world. That kind of champion understands that life is really all about Jesus Christ. After all, wasn’t Jesus the ultimate champion, in every sense of the word? He not only defeated sin and death, but he fought for us. He championed His greatest creation – us.
I want to model what Jesus did. I want to fight for students like Jesus fought for humanity. I want to be a champion. Do you? I think you do. So, let’s be champions together. Let’s fight for our kids and students, families and friends. Let’s champion their causes and phases of life. Let’s make an eternal impact in the lives of those around us. Let’s fight for people so they can come to know who Jesus is. Let’s be champions!