Your Audience

Posted: June 18, 2015 in Church, Discipleship, Pastoral Ministry, Stories

camden-yardsA record that stood for almost 125 years fell on April 29, 2015, when the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox played before an empty Camden Yards. Absolutely no fans filled the seats. Prior to “the zero in attendance” record, the previous low mark came in a professional baseball game on September 28, 1882, when six people watched the Worcester Ruby Legs defeat the Troy Trojans 4-1.

The bizarre development in Baltimore came as a mandate from the Major League Baseball office in wake of protests and outbursts of violence. Here’s how an Associated Press article reported one incident from the fan-less game:

Chris Davis might have hit the quietest home run for the home team in Orioles history. As the slugger pounded the ball deep onto Eutaw Street, just a few feet from where fans normally would have sprinted after a chance a souvenir, there was almost nothing to hear. The only muffled cheers came from a pocket of diehards locked out of Camden Yards yelling, “Let’s Go O’s!”

On this day, 30,000 Orioles fans had been muted. The wild applause had been silenced. There were no fans to stand for a standing ovation. Just Davis’s teammates in the dugout coming over for high-fives. “When you’re rounding the bases, and the only cheers you hear were from outside the stadium,” he said, “it’s a weird feeling.”

No live audience, no cheering fans, no applause — as a Christ-follower, how much does the audience affect your performance? How much does the cheering crowd motivate you to do a good job? Would you do what you do in ministry, if no one applauded for you or patted you on the back? Are you content to live before the Lord, the “Audience of One”?

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