Years ago, my husband and I received a letter from Pastor Kevin that invited us to a meeting to talk about small groups. We were so honored to be asked and went to this meeting with such excitement and anticipation.
We had been coming to Champions Centre for a while. We were serving on a team, tithing, fully involved, and fully engaged in the House.
At this meeting, pastor shared the vision of small groups and asked those in the room to consider hosting a group. It was then that I realized: I know a lot of people yet have no friends. We were so involved, but we had no Godly relationships in our lives as soon as we left the building.
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:12
We may have never come to the realization that we were not in relationship with other Christians and made the decision to host a small group if it had not been for that meeting. Had we not made the conscious decision to share our personal life with others, we would not have connected to some of the greatest people on the planet that have become our friends for life—people I know I can count on in both the good and difficult times.
How many of our fully involved and engaged church family are silently struggling in that invisible isolation.
We all know them. They look good. They smile. They serve with their whole heart, and we see them every weekend at church. They go home right after church without ever being in relationship with others.
The question is can you relate?
My challenge for every single one of us today as fully involved, fully engaged Christians is this: ask yourself: “Are the people around me that I know and come in contact with every single weekend in genuine relationship with others? Do I have a great group of close, Godly friends that I share my personal life with?”
…then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:2–5
It is time to start doing life with others. I know it’s hard. For me, I have no problem meeting people, but it is an effort to get out of my comfort zone and share me with others. Genuine relationship takes time. It means being vulnerable and open in order to bring others into your world and allowing them to do the same. It’s what community is all about.
If you are one of those who are invisibly isolated, don’t leave church this weekend without making the conscious and deliberate effort to invite others to come to your home or go out for coffee. Let’s really do life together.
If you are one of the fortunate people that really does have those great relationships, then I challenge you to invite someone you don’t know very well into your circle of friends and begin to disciple them. I believe we will find that if we put forth the effort, people will be less likely to leave the church or stay home from church if they know others will notice and genuinely care that they aren’t there.
In Phillippians 5:2–5, Paul writes, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
We are the church and if Jesus has commanded us to love others. There is no need for anyone to live in invisible isolation.
Jesus tells us this Himself in John 15:12, where He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”