Summary: I believe that most Christians in America are living unproductive, unfruitful, and basically selfish lives. One of the reasons I believe this is true, is what I like to refer to as the "holy huddle." The holy huddle is the tendency for Christians to
"The Holy Huddle"
I believe that most Christians in America are living unproductive, unfruitful, and basically selfish lives.
One of the reasons I believe this is true, is what I like to refer to as the "holy huddle." The holy huddle is the tendency for Christians to surround themselves with other believers going from one fellowship group to another. It occurs when believers isolate themselves from non-Christians, developing relationships only with other believers. They end up having few deep friendships with unbelievers. Honestly, this trend concerns me a lot, but more importantly, I think it’s breaking God’s heart.
I know the holy huddle is real. I speak from experience because I’ve been an insider. A number of years ago I was serving as an assistant pastor of a church and one day I realized something astonishing. I had no non-Christian friends! How ironic? I was in full time ministry, yet had no significant contact with the lost. I worked with Christians, I ministered to Christians, and I socialized with Christians. I didn’t have time to build relationships with the lost around me. I was spending almost all of my time with Christians. That experience changed me. It has forever given me an awareness of the need to be connecting with those who don’t know Christ.
Now don’t get me wrong. If I taught a course called "Fellowship 101," the curriculum would include topics like: the Biblical basis for fellowship; the need for fellowship; and the benefits of fellowship. Fellowship is an essential part of the Christians life. The Bible is clear. We need each other. We need to be a part of a community of believers.
Luke shares the importance of fellowship in the early church "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42)
The author of the book of Hebrews encourages believers by saying "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)
But, I would also include in Fellowship 101 a section titled "beware of the holy huddle." Can we fellowship too much? I think so. Is it possible for us to overdose on fellowship? Yes, because there are two things you can do on earth that you can’t do in heaven: one is sin, the other is witness. Why do you think God’s left us here? In heaven, we’ll be fellowshipping for all eternity!
Where would the Christian faith be if the Apostle Paul lived in a holy huddle? What if Peter and the other disciples of Jesus never left the upper room after Christ ascended back to heaven? What would have been the long-term impact on the Christian faith? Devastating. Christianity would have disappeared in the First Century.
Have you ever been at dinner and pick up the salt and nothing comes out? The salt is stuck? When that happens, somebody played a trick on you, the saltshaker is empty, or the salt is stuck together. Too many Christians are clumped together and remain stuck inside a holy huddle saltshaker.
Jesus told us "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." (Matthew 5:13) God has left us here for a reason: to be salt in the world helping others to come to know Christ.
In the wisdom given to him by God, Solomon once said, "The man who fears God will avoid all extremes." (Ecclesiastes 7:18) The bottom line- it’s all about balance. We need to balance quality Christian fellowship with developing friendships with those who don’t know Christ.
I’m concerned that we’re neglecting the lost around us. There is only one good reason that I can think of that the moment I placed my faith in Christ I was not immediately taken into eternity to be with God and that’s because He left me here with a mission- to be His ambassador the remaining days I spend on earth.
I’m concerned that we’re missing a special blessing from God. Paul says in one of his letters to Christians, "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 6) What Paul is saying is if we are not sharing God’s love with others, we’re missing something from God.
Sometimes, it’s harder to choose the best from the good rather than the good from the bad. Here’s what I mean. It may seem good to surround yourself with only Christians, but I believe it’s not God’s best.