And slowly we drift…
Quite frankly, my fear is that our church relationships can suffer from a lack of intentionality as well. We get busy with the day-to-day activity of life, whether it be work, or family, or recreation. And before you know it, people at church seem distant. Church just becomes something you do on Sundays. People are friendly to you and you are friendly to people at church, but it’s mostly just an exchange of pleasantries a few minutes before or after service once each week. The Christian life can and should be more than that. It is supposed to be lived out in the context of a community.
Community at most churches is found in small group ministries of various kinds: Sunday School, Bible Study Fellowhip, Home Groups, etc. The reality at Good Hope is most adults who attend our church are not involved in Bible Study Fellowship, our version of Sunday School. Another reality is that if we wanted everyone to be in a Sunday School class we wouldn’t have a place to put them because we are limited in our classroom space! So my conclusion is the best, most reasonable way for us to stay connected at Good Hope is through Home Groups.
As a pastor, I desperately want my people to feel connected and cared for at Good Hope. In my heart of hearts, I know that involvement in a vibrant Home Group will greatly increase the chances of this happening. We have been taking attendance at Home Groups over the past few months at Good Hope. We have come to realize that half of our families are currently not engaged in a home group. I worry about these families. In fact, when I hear that a family is drifting from our church I can almost guarantee that they are not connected to a home group. I worry for these disconnected families much like I would worry for a couple who are not intentionally taking time for each other. We all need intimacy. It’s my heart’s desire that all Good Hopers be connected to other people in the church so we don’t drift and lose our connection with each other, and eventually with Jesus. If you are a Good Hoper and are currently not in a home group I want you to consider the reasons you are choosing to not be in one.
Has it been a matter of family schedule, or of comfortability, or of convenience? Maybe you’ve been disappointed before. Maybe the last one you were in didn’t go so well. Maybe you’ve just not felt comfortable being with people in that kind of setting. Maybe you’ve just not seen the need for it. I am challenging all of us to be more intentional about building community and connecting to each other. Invite another family over for dinner. Check out a home group when we get restarted this September. Let's not take our connectedness for granted. We need each other now more than ever.