Monday, May 7, 2012

Finding Tonto

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:25, NIV)

Today's church is full of buzz words -- holy huddle, Connecting Point, and Lone Ranger Christians are just a few.  What the heck is a Lone Ranger Christian and what does it have in common with the other two?

For a long time Christians have been accused of congregating in holy huddles, the equivalent of a Christian clique.  We find our comfort in the fellowship of those with similar interests and convictions and are reluctant to venture outside our holy huddles to embrace those who struggle with abuse, addiction, or other "sins" that might rub off on us. 

A couple of years ago my church decided to revamp the whole idea of Sunday school by changing the name of our classes to Connecting Point classes. Although initially I thought it insane to break tradition and change the name of a longstanding aspect of church life, I realized that the reason was to emphasize our need as Christ followers to be connected with those in the church.  Our church has encouraged not only involvement in the various ministries there, but has also emphasized our need as individuals to develop relationships with other believers through Connecting Point classes and small groups. 

Lone Ranger Christians tend to live life apart from the fellowship of those in the church, attending Sunday worship on occasion but never getting involved in the body life of the church. They don't attend Bible studies, fellowship activities, or Connecting Point classes because somehow they don't feel it necessary for their spiritual well being. They are saved and read their bibles and that is enough for them. But what happens when they face a personal crisis, such as declining health or the loss of a loved one? 

Even the Lone Ranger needed a companion to talk with in the solitude of the frontier, didn't he?  He learned the value of being connected with another human being, even though he and Tonto probably had little in common.  The Lone Ranger stepped out of his "white man" huddle, setting prejudice aside to befriend the Indian who would become his faithful companion.  Together they made a great team and did much to maintain peace on the wild frontier.

God established fellowship in the Garden, when he created Eve as a helpmate for Adam, recognizing Adam's need for support and companionship.  That need has never changed.  Although God is all-sufficient and ever-present, we need to be in fellowship with other Christians if we are to grow in our relationship with the Lord and find help in our time of need. 

There is a Tonto out there looking for his "kemosabe", or faithful friend.  If you feel like the Lone Ranger, then go find your Tonto! Start by getting involved in your local church and nurturing friendships with those you'll be with for all eternity.

Copyright © 2012 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

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