Find the Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name
by Chris Hodges
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Do you remember the classic sitcom Cheers, set in a Boston tavern? Its theme song articulates a very simple message that clearly resonates with us all: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” We want to be known and recognized; we want a place where we belong. However, it seems to me that the place we should be able to go to find a supportive community should be our local church—not the neighborhood pub!
Since the beginning of my church, Church of the Highlands, we’ve deliberately created a place where knowing your name is a priority for everyone. We’ve been more than a church with big weekend services. Whether our members meet together in homes, parks, or restaurants, our vision is for everyone to be part of a group with other individuals who are willing to grow in their faith together, to support one another, to encourage one another, and to celebrate with one another.
Such groups reflect Paul’s desire for believers in Romans 12:5. We need people in our lives who are willing to share in the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. In the second year of our church, a man in one of our small groups had cancer and lost all his hair to chemo. While the group members offered all kinds of practical support, one of the most moving things the other men did was to shave their heads too. They wanted their friend to know they were standing with him.
No one should have to deal with a disease like cancer alone. No one should have to sit in a hospital waiting room alone while their spouse or child or parent is in surgery. No one should have to stand at an open grave alone. No one should have to go through a divorce alone.
Take a moment to assess the relationships in your life. Who really knows you? Who gets you? What risks do you need to take and what secrets do you need to share in order to improve the quality of your relationships? God wants you to connect to him and to his people and develop meaningful relationships. You‘ll never fully get the wind back in your sails until you do.