We are blessed to have a congregation of people who love
to spend time together, realizing the importance of social
interaction with Christians. Recently, we've had opportunities
for young people and adults to socialize together in large
groups, which is as important as socializing in small groups.
Recreation and Social Interaction: Not A Work Of The
Recreation and social interaction aren't works of the church.
There's no authority for the church to engage in recreation,
or for the elders to oversee such work.
Social interaction is a work of each individual Christian.
We are commanded to do good, sharing the things we have,
which we partially accomplish through social interact (Gal.
6:9-10; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 6:18).
Jesus' Social Interaction
Jesus socially interacted with people throughout his ministry,
which started at a wedding in Cana. Later he fed thousands
of people on two occasions, and dined with disciples and
sinners alike while teaching the gospel.
Perhaps Jesus' personal interaction with people is best
seen in his reaction to Lazarus' death. The Bible says,
"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who
came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit
and was troubled, and said, Where have you laid him?' They
said to Him, Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept" (Jn. 11:33-35).
Just as Jesus had close personal relationships upon the
earth, so we too, as His disciples have close personal relationships
with people of like faith.
Brethren in Jerusalem
Christians in Jerusalem spent time together socially (outside
of the assembly).
Luke says, "Day by day continuing with one mind in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were
taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity
of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people"
When we look at the New Testament model of Christianity,
it includes spending time with Christians outside of the
assembly. It's not a work of the church, but a work of individual
Paul had brethren whom he considered friends. These are
people who helped him with things he needed and desired
On his journey to Rome as a prisoner, a centurion named
Julius allowed Paul to "go to his friends and receive care"
at Sidon (Acts 27:3).
Like Jesus, Paul had close personal relationships with
people while working in the Lord's kingdom.
Social Interaction With Christians Is Important
God created us to be social people who have companions (Acts
13:13; 19:29; Phil. 4:3). Some people are more social than
others, but we're all social to some degree.
Our companions shouldn't be evil, and we shouldn't be
bound with unbelievers (1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14). Besides,
friendship with the world is hostility with God (Jas. 4:4).
So, who makes the best companions? Christians.
It's important for us to socially interact with Christians,
and not just people of the world. Christians make the best
companions and friends.
The benefit of spending time with other Christians is obvious.
It gives us an opportunity to have fun and recreate, without
the sinful pressures of the world.
When we spend time together in real-world situations,
outside of church, we are good examples to one another.
We are positive influences for people of every age, teaching
important lessons about everyday life.
Sometimes, young people remark to Beth and I that they
learn more by witnessing our interaction as a family, than
just hearing about it at church. When they see God's word
in action, it reinforces and explains the lessons we teach
in Bible class and from the pulpit.
Make Opportunities: It Takes Work
Since recreation isn't a work of the church, individual
Christians must make opportunities to socialize with other
We have to think of ways to spend time together, then
we have to make all the arrangements. Someone must take
the initiative to come up with an idea, make the preparations,
be the host, and get others involved.
Parents especially, in my humble opinion, have a responsibility
to make opportunities for their children to interact with
young people of like faith. Then as their children grow,
they must teach them how to make their own opportunities.
Too often, parents lose their children to the world because
they failed to make opportunities for them to socialize
with Christians. In essence, they throw their children to
the wolves, and expect them to somehow come through it all
on their own.
Social interaction with God's people is important for every
Christian. It's up to each of us to make opportunities to
spend time together outside our of assembly, and to take
advantage of such situations. If we do, we'll be stronger,
and our lives will be more fulfilling.