From the drive-thru window she passed me my Starbucks coffee and asked, “Where do you go to church?” I was kind of caught off-guard; I had no idea she knew I went to church. We had talked many times about coffee and the new popcorn Starbucks was selling, but church had never come up. I quickly checked my mirror and noticed there was nobody behind me, “I am part of the church right around the corner. I am heading there right now to lead a discussion of faith with a group of 20 somethings” (she fit the group demographic).
I was not ready for her moment of honesty: “I am a Christian but I don’t really go to one church… I bounce around.”
“Nooooo!!!” I said (in slow-mo), she didn’t just say that, did she? I had to respond. Quick mirror check – nobody (there is a God for sure). Since she opened the door, I jump right in with my best pitch on how important being part of a church is. I tell her all about how important relationships are, the need for accountability, and how we grow deeper in our faith when we are connected to one community. “Why don’t you come out next week and see for yourself?” “Maybe,” she said. That next Sunday after service there she was with a big smile on her face asking if she could check out the 20 somethings group.
My encounter with her reminded me of an important truth. We will never grow to our full potential as followers of Jesus if we are bouncing from church to church. Just because there is a lot of religious motion doesn’t mean you are growing, it just spreads you thin. God intended for us to find our fit and be part of a church community. This cannot happen when you church jump. The early church devoted themselves to one another. It was in the deeper connection of doing life together that they knew the fullness of what Jesus wanted the church to become. When we give more of ourselves to one community, we discover the life God intended for us.
Thanks to my Starbucks friend for handing me my coffee that night. I am so glad you are getting plugged in!