Awkward Family Photos

Have you ever looked back at a picture from childhood and wondered how your parents would let you leave the house looking like that? I do. I try to not look back at some of my old school pictures because they are very cringy. Although, to be honest, my parents did try to stop me.

We all have awkward school pictures. I’ve never seen yours, but I know you have them. I’m telling you the truth if you don’t think you do. You do! This is part of the reason why our current series, “Circles,” is so important. We’re talking about the importance of pushing back on the tendency within our faith to do faith by ourselves.

If you’re a follower of Jesus today, part of what you “signed up” for was a relationship with God and other people. I pray that after this series, you are regularly getting together for drinks with one another. I hope you are inviting each other over for dinner weekly. I want you to get involved in a small group or on a team here at Madison Church.

It’s mission-critical that you do.

Obstacles To Circles

Why don’t we do it more often? There are obstacles. I came up with the three most significant barriers people give me: fear, tiredness, and busyness.

Fear. We have to talk, open ourselves up, and be vulnerable. That’s difficult. It can be scary to let people see us. What if you go out to brunch with that person who asked you to, and they’re a weirdo? Or what if they find out you’re the weirdo?

Tiredness. Fatigue affects every area of your life. Being tired is not just keeping you from going to a group once a week for a couple of months or getting together with a friend.

Busyness. We’re all busy people. My calendar is jam-packed with things. Your calendar is jam-packed with things. Sarah wrote about this in the last post, which is worth reading.

No matter the obstacle, when you feel like you need a circle the least is when you need a circle the most.

Those who make being in a circle of priority understand biblical wisdom. They know how God has wired them. They understand how they can live their best life, and it is in a community.

When Crisis Hits

While in circles, you have people who are there for you. When you fall, you have other people who know you. They know your story. They don’t need to be told where you live or what your kids’ names are when something happens.

Many spend a lot of time building their individual lives. They work hard to get ahead. At some point, we all get exhausted. Some of us burn out. This is when we often give into temptation, which precedes failure. That could be with a relationship, finances, or a career, but it happens and is life-changing in all ways we don’t want it to be.

A crisis is going to happen to you at some point. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it will happen. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve lived long enough to see it happen a couple of times.

No One To Talk With

According to the American Sociological Review, one in four people say they don’t have anyone to talk to. Another 20% said they had one, just one. That likely means half the people reading this have no one or just one person they can talk with.

And that just shouldn’t be.

That’s not how you were made to live. That’s not how God wants you to live. This is why we’re doing this series. I want all of us at MC to have someone. Half the people randomly polled may not have someone to talk to, but those at MC should have multiple people they can speak with.

Sarah challenged you to sign up for a small group. If you still need to do that, do that here. If you already have signed up, the next challenge is to show up. A little common sense here. You signed up, and now you gotta show up.

Our mission at MC is to connect people with God and each other, and one hour a week isn’t gonna get it done. We need these between Sunday moments.

When we look back at the life of Jesus, we see that Jesus spent time with people. If there was anybody who could have gotten away with being lonely and isolated, it would have been Jesus, but he was consistently in a circle. Let’s follow his lead.