And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
I have learned about being in a church family by riding pillion.
Riding pillion is a term used for the passenger on a motorcycle. Time on the back of our Yamaha Venture is a joy – the roar of the engine beneath me, the sun warming my snug leathers, the scent of skunk as we join the wind blowing down the road.
Greet each other.
As bikers pass on the roadway, we wave. If we stop at the same place, we talk. Perhaps we talk about the weather, or our bikes, but eventually we talk about where we are coming from and where we are going.
Members of the church need to greet one another. Beyond a weekly wave, we need to meet up, and when we get together, we need to chat about more than the weather. All are encouraged when sharing where we come from and where we are going on our walk with God.
Bikers ride loaded cruisers, sporty crotch-rockets, throaty low-riders, small commuters or powerful machines. The riders themselves vary in age and social status. Some are adventurers traveling the world. Some may be outlaws wearing gang colours. Some are inexperienced while others have been riding for years. We may not choose to ride with some through daily life, but as we meet on the road, we recognize their position and acknowledge their presence.
As Christians gather in churches, we find a variety of people. We may not like them all, but we must recognize their position in Christ and acknowledge their presence in our spiritual family. God has placed them on our pathway for a reason – maybe even for our good.
Be a good pillion.
Riding pillion means I am not in control. My husband chooses the speed we go, and when we stop. Of course, he listens when I make requests through the intercom, but ultimately he makes the decisions. There is a comfort in knowing I do not need to be watching the traffic, road signs, or storm clouds. I do watch though, and can help by mentioning a deer close to the roadside, but it is not my responsibility to manoeuvre the bike safely.
At church, most people are not the leaders. We have a say, but we turn the responsibility of decision-making over to others. I have opinions about what songs are best or how strong the coffee should be, but riding pillion has helped me allow for others who make those decisions. Being a follower of Godly leaders is a good position, so be a follower who prays for the leaders, helps them see danger, and leans with, not against, them.
Like riding pillion, our church family can provide belonging, acceptance, encouragement, and adventure. Are you ready for the ride?
Marnie writes from northern British Columbia. She shares from her heart, drawing from both painful and joyful life experiences, where she believes God's presence makes all the difference.