April 2, 2014

Where Everybody Knows Your Name...

Remember the theme song from Cheers? Well many of you don't, because you are what I like to call...wait for it...young. But I am not so young, and so I think of this tune almost every time I enter our local Starbucks. 

From what I gather, this is not common at many of the 'Bucks stores; however, it's more the case here because our SB is small town. Almost every barista knows my name, and a large chunk of them know my drink...that is, if I haven't changed it up too much recently!

From 1982-1993, the place "where everybody knows your name" on primetime TV was Cheers, a Boston bar. Today in Martinsville, Indiana, my place to be "known" is our local coffee shop. Now, my experience there is not nearly as relationally-entangled as Cheers was, so I realize this example falls flat on some level. However, there ought to be a place "where everybody knows your name" and where the relationships are intertwined and intimate. And that place - for believers - ought to be the local church.

The Church (capital C) is the Body of Christ, the collective group of all Christians everywhere. When expressed locally, the church (lower-case c) is able to link a smaller group of believers together for the purposes of discipleship, mutual encouragement, and ministry amidst their own community. As Romans 12:5 puts it, "So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." We have the blessed opportunity to be functioning parts of a whole, knowing and being known by each other.

So where is your place to know and be known? Who are your people to worship with and serve alongside? If you are a believer in Christ and are not yet a part of a local church body (or have strayed from this practice), please consider visiting one this Sunday. Regular attendance and membership in a congregation of fellow believers provides an opportunity for you to be known far deeper than your usual mocha latte request. And the family of God can be infinitely more encouraging than a group of silly sots around a bar. Granted, no church is perfect, but that's because we humans are not perfect. What we should be looking for is a healthy church. Mark Dever has created a great resource on the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. I'd recommend that you peruse those marks here

"Sometimes you wanna' go where everybody knows your name..." And wouldn't it be great if those people could teach you, lift you up in prayer, hold you accountable to God's Word, and encourage you in your walk with Christ? Hot diggity, what a combo! May we all find a local body where we can plug in!

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