I’m writing this on the plane back to London after a short visit to see my kids in the US. We keep up regularly with texting, Facebook, email – the social media img_2522options seem endless.

But none of this compares to sitting down face-to-face with my son or daughter. This weekend, I took my 16-year-old son to lunch at Culver’s, a local fast food place, to discuss his future. Talking over french fries and ice cream was soooooooo much better than having that conversation over Skype!

It’s interesting that John had some of the same thoughts: Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. (2John12)

John knew that it is best for relationships to be conducted with personal interaction. He couldn’t just write a letter from afar and expect that to do the job.  John dearly wanted to see the family of God – the church – in person.  Letters or social media are OK but face-to-face is so much better!

The questions is: Do you treat your spiritual family like a long distance family member whom you see occasionally?

Watching a sermon video or listening to a Christian podcast is no replacement for the face-to-face interaction we have when we’re committed to a local group of Jesus followers. Your joy will never be complete if you keep your church family at arm’s length.  If you never take the time to invest in face-to-face relationships, you are stunting your spiritual growth.

It’s time to end long-distance relationships with the family of God.

Engage with God’s people in your local church face-to-face.

And over time, enjoy the fullness of joy that John spoke about in his second letter.

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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor