For the first time in a while, I am reading for pleasure. It's funny some of the first books that you pick up whenever you get a chance to read not for an assignment or for work, but to really just enjoy reading. One of the books that I have started to read is "The Best of Vance Havner." I have always enjoyed Havner's quotes and illustrations. I remember that he shared a story about Gypsy Smith, the great evangelist, that was told one time by a church member, you need to sing from the diaphragm. To which Smith replied, "I don't want to sing from the diaphragm, I want to sing from my heart." To which Havner, went on to speak about how this is where our ministry is to come from, our hearts, not from some process.
I read today an interesting perspective he had on Christianity, in that there are many today that are window-shopping Christianity. Today's version I guess would be "Scroll-shopping Christianity." In that, we so often want to look from the outside and desire the truths of God's Word to be embedded and a part of who we are, and yet when life circumstances hit, we retreat to our pragmaticism that doesn't work. This action leads to a dry, destitute, desperate Christian experience. Yet John 10:10 reminds us that Jesus has come to give us life and to the full (paraphrase). This verse is not meant to be for health, wealth, and prosperity, instead, it is focused upon the promises of God.
I believe that this is true in the church today regarding groups. We have many people within the church that are window-shopping or scroll-shopping groups. They want to just look from the outside and desire community, content, connection, and care, yet when life circumstances hit, rather than being a part of what God has provided through a group of people as the hands and feet of Jesus, they retreat to their pragmaticism.
So how is a window(scroll)-shopping overcome? You go into the store and posses that which has already been purchased for you. What does this mean? As the body of Christ, we are not our own, we are a body of believers that have been bought by the blood of Christ, which means we have an obligation towards each other to help us grow spiritually. I belong to God the Father, and we belong to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, our groups are to remember that we are to help each other and provide the same grace and guidance that is being provided to us through the Holy Spirit.
So I would say, please do not keep standing at the window hoping you get to experience care, community, content, and connection. Go in, Jump in, and connect into a group today!