Community & Accountability

“Alright, where did you go? We haven’t seen you yet this season.”

The text message came in Saturday evening, around the second inning. It was from the people who have season tickets behind Lisa and me for Pirates games. ThoughSaturday was the third game of the year in our ticket package, we had yet to sit in our seats. Our absence for 3 straight games was unusual, and now people were starting to notice.

I’ll admit, it made me feel good to know someone had noticed our absence. These are people who I have never hung out with outside of the ballpark, yet they still miss seeing us. I told them that yes, we still have our seats, but we’ve been busy lately and couldn’t make the games. Other things – a speaking engagement, a meeting, and time with family – had taken priority over attending ballgames. Now, I’m eager to see our “ballpark friends” for the first time next weekend.

One benefit of church life is the community and accountability we share. By regularly participating in worship, study, and fellowship, we build relationships with those who share our interest in the Christian faith – people who we otherwise would not have known. And the closer our relationships, the more noticeable it is when someone is missing. Our church relationships can help us stay accountable to habitual practices of worship attendance, praying, and living as Jesus wants us to.

I’m thankful for my ballpark friends. They consider me a part of our section’s community, and they are holding Lisa and I accountable to doing something that brings us joy and quality time as a couple. I’m also ┬áthankful for the community and accountability we share at Avery UMC. So the next time you see your “pew mates” missing from worship, check in on them to make sure everything is okay, and let them know you missed seeing them!

— Pastor Erik