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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Plug In

I will never forget that drive to our first small group. It was a couple of years ago and my wife had finally convinced me to participate in one. We had been going for several months, but neither of us had gotten up the courage to respond to the countless invitations to “plug in”.

For whatever reason, my wife had made up her mind that it would be “fun” to plug in, but I was still totally against it. I’m more of an introvert and besides… show up to someone’s house I don’t even know to hang out with a bunch of other people I don’t know? – No thanks.

That may sound crass, but that was honestly my thought process at the time. As we pulled into the driveway of the host house I had my entire mind made up against ‘plugging in’, ‘small groups’, and whatever else they wanted to invite me to.

We walked up to the door and rang the doorbell to, at the time, a complete stranger’s house. As we were welcomed inside it took me about 10 seconds to realize we didn’t know anyone there.

I knew it! It was going to be a horrible experience and we were going to sit in the corner of the room and try to fit in for three hours. Boy was my wife going to get to hear it when we left!

But then something crazy happened. People started coming up to me and asking me questions. They seemed genuinely interested in my wife and me. They offered us food, drinks, and a place to sit. They smiled and laughed and didn’t leave us sitting in some dark corner by ourselves like I had imagined it.

Plus, I wasn’t even asked to recite the Ten Commandments or quizzed on the Old Testament. We talked about college football, work and family. We watched the game, people talked, kids ran around, and it was about as far from being ‘stuffy’ and ‘stale’ as you can get.

It’s been awhile since that occurred, but I still haven’t forgotten the fear that I had to overcome. Nor have I forgotten the other excuses that I came up with.

I know where you’re coming from if you’re afraid to plug in. I know what it feels like to be afraid that people will see through your paper-thin knowledge of the Bible and what it means to be a Christian. I know what it feels like to walk around hoping that you don’t have to be too vulnerable or admit the secret sin that you’ve been hiding. I know how tempting it is to hoard your time for yourself and pretend that you don’t have any left for making new friends.

It may be true that you’re an introvert or you’re afraid of being judged or you really don’t have time, but I’ve learned that the only way to truly live an effective life for the Kingdom is by living it with His people.

We weren’t designed to do the Christian life alone. We can’t do it alone.

If you want to grow in your walk with God then you have to grow in your walk with His people.

When Jesus is praying about the love of God being shared with the world He doesn’t talk about it being accomplished through scripture memorization or perfect church attendance or morality. He talks about it being accomplished by believers doing life together.

“23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23

Plugging in is scary and I can’t guarantee you that your life won’t change. In fact, your life most likely will change. If you’re walking in sin, you will most likely be walked out of it. If you’re living life as a casual church goer then you will probably be inspired to give your life away and start serving.

I challenge you to get plugged in to a church near you. Join a small group, participate in a serve opportunity, or volunteer your time each week alongside others in your church. Fight past the fear and you will gain a family, not just friends.

Tyler Speegle

Tyler is a husband, dad, serious coffee drinker, and inspirational blogger with a passion to help others see Jesus as He truly is – a personal and relational God. His writing has been featured in various publications such as the Huffington Post, The Blaze, and others. He lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Courtney, and son, Asher.

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