I watched a movie the other day called “Here Comes the Boom.” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was on Netflix so I figured it was worth a shot. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the heart of this movie.
Here is the overall plot, the high school where Kevin James works is laying off the music teacher because of a lack of finances and he commits to raising enough money to keep the music program running. The only way Kevin can find to do this is by participating in Mixed Martial arts fights.
There were a few things that caught my attention, but the most impacting theme was the main character’s care and concern for others. He doesn’t start off caring; in fact he seems entirely self – focused and void of concern for others when the movie starts. As the movie continues, we find that there is more to him than first appeared.
Here are three things that I found challenging as a pastor and really tapped into my love and passion for what I do:
- He is on the front lines. Kevin James is getting beat up – a lot – with no risk to anyone else but himself. He is on the front lines. As pastors, our families are on the front lines, whether it’s criticism related to their being “pastors kids” or running into spiritual challenges that test and push us, we are at risk.
- He is doing it all for others. Doing our best to model Jesus’ example to us, we give of ourselves. We find joy and renewal by seeing others draw closer to God and seeing their relationships become healthy and God-centered. Kevin James wasn’t doing it for himself; he gained virtually nothing but a few trips to the hospital and possibly a lifetime of migraines (which could arguably be some of our benefits as well). He was doing it for a teacher, but broader than the one teacher, it was for the whole school of students and their musical experience in their high school years.
- The gain goes beyond finances. Kevin James was paid, but gave it all away. What was his personal gain? Simply knowing the value of what others would receive. He wasn’t trying to get publicity, in fact it didn’t seem like he expected it at all, he would have been just fine knowing that he had raised enough money and the students had never known. As pastors, we do any number of things for others knowing we won’t get paid or even be recognized for what we did – the gain is far greater. A fulfillment in the knowledge that we have responded to God’s call and that others have benefited from it.
In the end, his love for teaching, and his students grows as he gets in touch with his passion to help them. The impact it had on those he served was INCREDIBLE!
We may not be using my fists, but we’re fighting knowing that any risk to ourselves is worth the benefit for others. For Kevin James sacrificing himself for a greater cause brought personal satisfaction and passion for those he was serving. May the same be true of us.
And although Jesus’ example of sacrifice is FAR more than our own, my personal prayer is that I would follow His lead and example as closely as possible in my calling to be a pastor and let God shine through me.
P.S. For those of you who have pastors in your lives – pray for them, recognize their love for you and their sacrifice for your benefit – and say thank you, they could use the encouragement.