Tuning Out Community

Last week while driving home, something I heard on the Christian radio station troubled me again. 

“You’ve found a place to connect.” a male voice said. 

Don’t ask me who the voice belonged to. I don’t know. If I did know the name of the announcer, I probably wouldn’t recognize him on the street. If I did recognize him on the street, he most certainly wouldn’t recognize me. Does that sound connected to you? 

Why would this station claim to be a place at all? Why would it attempt to simulate connection? I can’t speak to their motives. I assume that the decision makers there are honest people and genuine disciples of Christ. Regardless of their motive, it seems to me that they’re commodifying community and so cheapening it. 

As Randy Frazee says in his book, Making Room for Life, all people come with a “connection requirement.” Speaking form personal experience, connecting can be hard. On a weekly basis I have to choose to give up time and possessions in order to really connect as I’m designed to. I have to leave important things undone in order to embrace the more important task of connecting. Really connecting with God and with others has required that I drop the protective barrier between myself and other believers. I’ve been vulnerable and I’ve been hurt. Connecting is costly and yet the cost is also the benefit. The sacrifices and stings that come with real community allow me to experience fellowship with Christ and that is the way we connect with him. 

If you like Christian music, by all means listen to your local station. Support them financially if they need you and you feel so led. But don’t for a minute believe that by tuning to a particular frequency on your dial that you’ve connected with anything. God lives among his people. By really connecting with them in costly, satisfying relationships you’ll connect with him. 

Published by Nathan Wilkerson

Holding on for dear life.

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