I bumped into him most Sundays after service ended. We shared thoughts about the sermon, poked fun at each other, talked about the weather, and marveled at how awesome our wives are. He wasn’t interested in football, so the Cowboys never came up in our conversations. After repeating this pattern for several months, I still didn’t know much more about him. We were still acquaintances.
We attended church together; we worshiped together, but… were we really connected?
In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes to believers, Peter teaches the crowds, and 3,000 were baptized. Afterwards, in verse 2:42, the Bible says
“They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Verse 46 says they would meet together every day. As believers, they wanted to spend time together and recognized the value of fellowship. They knew that they wanted to learn together and to grow together. Reminds me of a popular phrase today: They wanted to live life together. Like a family, full of brothers and sisters.
A few years ago, I sat down next to him at the Church picnic. He had a nice spot under a tree. As we were greeting each other, a kid walked up with a leash. On the end of that leash was either a small horse or a HUGE dog. The kid handed the leash to him and ran off. I had no idea that he had a pet, let alone a beast like that.
That afternoon, I learned about his life, choices he made as a father and grandfather, and the reason he always has a small horse for a dog. We shared the stories of how we became believers and how we saw the Holy Spirit working in our lives. We spent an hour together that day and we connected enough to know that it wasn’t enough.
Sunday mornings are great for us to worship together as a body, but not enough for us to grow together. Or live life together. My friend and I enjoyed worshipping together, but it was when we spent time together, at the church picnic, and later in a fellowship group, that we really grew together. Later, when his wife was struggling with her health, he called so we could pray together. And when the horse/dog was lost, we looked late into the night – together.
My friend is no longer here, but his imprint on my life has not left. It was not enough to only see him on Sunday mornings. In order to go deeper, we had to have time together. I am so thankful for opportunities to build relationships, to build fellowship and the gift of his friendship. I am thankful for our time at the church picnic and meals we shared in fellowship groups.
The church picnic is coming up soon.
The annual MCC Family Picnic on Sunday, October 6th, from 1:00-4:00pm. Bring your food, drinks, blanket or chairs, and lawn games and spend an afternoon with your church family at Embudo Hills Park.
Who will you get to know better?
Who will you build a connection with?
I would encourage you to plan to attend, to spend time with someone new, dig deeper, and take that next step to living life together. Hope to see you there!