My wife Mary and I have been going to the same mega church for approximately 7 years now.
It’s about a 25 mile ride from our house to the parking lot, but we don’t really mind the drive for the service we go to each week. From time to time we come back for a Sunday night service or a special event.
For several years we participated in a small group with some folks in our area of town and we even led a small group study for a season.
We went on a cruise a couple of years ago and we met a couple on the cruise who also go to this church. When we got home we saw them one or two times but not since then.
I can’t say that we know the pastors well, but I’ve had conversations with a couple of them including the senior pastor. My radio station does some business with the church so there is that connection.
Here’s my point, and my confession.
Until last weekend, we couldn’t tell you the names of any of the regular people sitting around us (except maybe one). So we must be a couple of snobs, or we must be very insecure. Well, I hope not.
Our pastor is on to most of us, which is why last week he took several minutes out of the service to have all of us introduce ourselves to someone sitting near us. (This was to be more in depth than our usual “greeting” during which we just shake hands and welcome one another.) Well, in two or three minutes Mary and I had a great conversation with the couple sitting close to us. Although they’ve both been attending this church for many years, we had never spoken to them before and quickly found that we have some great things in common. As far as I could tell they were looking forward to seeing us again. (Now if I could just remember her first name…his name is Ted. LOL)
In Hebrews 10 we are instructed not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This is for the purpose of encouraging each other, and spurring one another on to love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25). God did not intend for us to be islands. We need each other. And we need regular support and encouragement! In this age of technology, we can receive excellent teachings in the comfort of our own homes, but we need people in order to give and receive encouragement. How can I encourage someone if I don’t even know their name? Or their story?
Mary and I are now committed, not only to getting to know all of those sitting around us, but also to get better at remembering their names. I’m assuming we are all headed to the same eternal place, so now is a great time to get to know each other. We can all become friends for life!
Director, 94 FM the Fish/Salem Music Networks