Modern technology is constantly evolving with new ways to help people connect with each other—which is great. Of course, nowadays the main objective is to keep us connected to our phones through an endless landscape of social media apps! While I admit there are many great perks of technology, we need to remember that the Lord provides ways for us to have meaningful relationships with Him—and each other—outside of social media.
As Jesus followers, our relationship with Him is what brings us together in Christ-centered fellowship with each other. Think about it. Someday we’re going to be together forever worshipping the Lord, and we don’t have to wait for later—it starts now!
Our togetherness matters to God because it’s a reflection of Him to the world around us.
So, although we come from different backgrounds and upbringings, and have our own character traits and tendencies, God brings us together in our common bond with Him. But we’re likely to miss that connection if we don’t make time for it—even at church.
It’s easy to bring our rushing, I-don’t-have-time mindset to church. We hurry in, so preoccupied with our own morning routine (and thinking about what we’ll do after church) that we overlook connecting with someone nearby … maybe a first-time visitor, or someone sitting alone. Maybe it’s someone who came to church that morning feeling as rushed and preoccupied as you. But there are conversations to be had, prayer requests to be shared, and rejoicing to go up!
God, in His grace, has given us His Word and teaches us about the importance of fellowship. Jesus spent time with friends. The early church was devoted to fellowship and caring for one another. The apostles sent greetings to friends they longed to see, giving us insight into their own need to be in relationship with other believers.
When I reflect on the people God has brought into my life over the years, I see beautiful members of God’s family who have made an impact on my spiritual walk. Some are Sunday School teachers, public school teachers, friends, pastors, mentors, roommates, family. They are a diverse group of people that love God and have walked with me through various seasons of life, even in the darkest moments.
I recall 2020, when our family began a virtual small group and we would discuss the Sunday sermon. Some were old friends; some were new friends—and they all became family. Our fellowship was rich and everyone was blessed, from the oldest to the youngest—we even got to welcome some newborns! Even when that season came to an end, the connections we made continue and the work God started in us is not finished!
Here are four reasons why I love being connected with God’s family.
We’re not meant to carry our burdens alone. We turn to the Lord and together we bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). God’s people are commanded to intercede in prayer for one another, and no one is so strong that they don’t need prayer. Think how often the apostle Paul asked for prayer in the letters he sent to the churches.
We all need someone to come alongside and pray for us. Send that text, tap that person on the shoulder, go to that prayer meeting, update the small group chat. You will be blessed and God will listen!
Being with believers brings friendship, encouragement and hope. Proverbs 18:24 says, “there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” In good times there is rejoicing, and through the trials there may be weeping (Romans 12:15). Whatever the case, you are not alone, so welcome those you can trust to be near (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11). This ministry of presence reminds us that God is ever-present and will never leave us.
As we follow the Lord and live out our faith, it’s important to remember to encourage each other. We are a body of believers and Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” We are not to be self-absorbed, but rather encouraging one another in the good things that God has for us. This honors the Lord and builds us up!
Godly relationships give us the opportunity to preach gospel truth and grow in grace. We learn how to live out the gospel in our relationships through opportunities that enable us to apply God’s grace and forgiveness. There is wisdom to be shared and times to embrace life-giving reproof (Proverbs 15:31). Friendships like this keep us grounded in the truth to stay alert and keep away from ungodly influence in the culture surrounding us (James 4:4).
So, let’s remember that God provided ways for us to stay truly connected, long before social media was around.
God’s goodness and grace through Christ Jesus has made us family, and we belong to each other (Romans 12:5). Wherever you find yourself, stay connected—seek the Lord and see what He will do. And praise God for His continued faithfulness and the joy of living in community!