The Importance of In-Person

1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

We had a few of our grandkids over and we were having fun learning the powers of certain Pokémon, battling Beyblades, building spaceships with Legos and talking. Somewhere in the conversation my phone buzzed, and they gathered around the phone with me to see what it was. It was a text from someone. Actually, it was a person from our church needing prayer, so I excused myself to the other room to answer the text. A few more texts and emails came in and so I just thought I would answer them quickly. Before long I was looking back and answering a few more emails, then something popped up from Instagram. I opened up Instagram and got caught up in viewing fun photos. That led to a quick view of Facebook. As I was scrolling, I heard from the other room, “Where’s Papa?” Then a few young voices yelling out as they were running through the house, “Papa, PAPA, Papa! Where are you?” They found me on the couch in the front room, “Oh there you are Papa! Look at this cool spaceship I made.” Now I had been fairly wrapped up in some Facebook post/story of someone’s latest adventure and did not notice they were all right in front of me. Then came the statement that pulled me out of the numbing time of flipping through post after post, “Papa please put down that phone and look at me!” The words brought me back and made me realize the importance of my in-person time with my grandkids.

It’s all too easy these days, though we are around people, not to be there in-person. I was out to eat one evening and the people at the table next to me were not interacting, for each were on their phones off in some other world. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my smart phone and it can be a great tool of communication and connection, but we can get drawn away from the in-person interaction around us. The truth is, we need each other.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Yes, it’s awkward and social skills along with communication skills need practice. All the isolation due to the pandemic has gotten us out of practice and maybe a bit lazy in interacting with others. People feel disconnected, many feel lonely, maybe even you. Yet a little in-person time could be helpful. Sure, it may take a bit of slogging through the awkwardness of small-talk and learning the art of asking questions, as well as improving our listening skills. Yet this effort of in-person interaction could really help others feel connected. Maybe even you. What could you do today to have an in-person experience?

Church is a wonderful place to practice in-person interactions. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking those in-person experiences along with you,

Mike

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