So, this thing happened after our gathering on Sunday. It happens all the time, actually, but I guess I noticed it in a new way on Sunday. Our main meeting had been over for 30 minutes, we had just finished packing up the storage truck, the kids were running around playing tag, and people were chatting it up. In fact, a lot of people were chatting it up… and a lot of kids were running around playing tag… more than I guess I expected to see… everyone was having a great time…
And nobody wanted to leave.
In fact, when I finally pressed the issue because our custodian was looking at the clock, someone called out “bring your lunch over to our place” and proceeded to give directions. I smiled at my wife… I knew where we were going for lunch now. And it was a great time… the adults were chatting it up again… the kids were running around again… only this time, we weren’t in our “usual” worship space at the elementary school. We were at a friend’s house. Somehow though, it felt kind of the same.
Because that’s how “church” is supposed to feel. It’s supposed to be warm and inviting and something that you don’t want to end. It’s suppose to be eating and laughing and sharing. It’s supposed to be kids playing. It’s supposed to be spontaneous get-togethers and planned gatherings. It’s supposed to be real life. It’s supposed to be real friendships.
And it was such a treat to realize that’s exactly how it is at the church I’m a part of. THIS is my social network. THIS is my place to give my updates. THIS is the place where I can share some news and get real “likes” and real-time comments. THESE are the people I want to share photos of my vacation with, to talk up the new eatery in town (and then go out to eat there with them), to invite to an impromptu jazz concert at the library pavilion to the Palisade farmer’s market on Perry, to the summer town movie nights at Festival Park. These aren’t just people I go to church with. These are my friends! Some I’ve known for years, some I’ve known for just a few weeks… but they’re my friends. More than that, they’re my family. And we all have the same Father.
That’s quite the social network!
Sure, I have friends in other “circles” and “networks.” I have co-workers I connect with. Family up in Denver. A good buddy in our nation’s capital. Friends overseas. Some other people in town I love very much. But my church family… there’s just something special. Something that echoes from a distant past and rises into promises of a distant future.
I hope whoever you are and wherever you’re reading this… I hope that you have a real, living, breathing, face-to-face “social network” like mine at Pathmakers Church. It’s so much more than just having Facebook “friends.” I hope you have a gathering of people that is unified by a transcending reality of God, of Love, of Purpose… and that the energy that comes from that results in a place full of people who like each other so much that they don’t want to stop hanging out, they don’t want the fun and conversations to end, and that they love you even as you are learning how to love them more.
Because there aren’t too many other things in this world that feel as good as having that in your life.
Acts 2:44 (NLT) – “And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.”