Revive Me #21- Long for Fellowship

Revive Me, Week 21– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Long for Fellowship

I have rolled my eyes at the idea of another potluck.  I’ve whispered “amen” to posts or comments about the fact that fellowship is not about eating a meal together.  Well, I’ve decided that I’ve been guilty of a bad attitude.

If I’m honest, I must get to the bottom of my lack of enthusiasm.  Is it the meal itself?  No.  Is it the effort it would take on my part to prepare a dish?  No.  So that leaves only two other reasons.  Either I don’t relish the idea of spending more time with my Christian family or I don’t want to cram another event into my already busy schedule.  Spelling it out like that doesn’t make me sound too good, does it?  What could be more important than spending time with God’s people?  What does it say about the spiritual condition of my heart when I lose the desire to do so?

God’s people are the best of people!  I never regret spending time with them.

What does God think about Christian fellowship?

  • The early Christians were devoted to it- Acts 2:42
  • He lists it as a blessing of walking in the Light- 1 John 1:7

There are commands we can only fulfill with time and togetherness:

  • We meet together to encourage each other- Heb. 10:25
  • We are to bear each other’s burdens- Gal. 6:2
  • We are to have the same mind and the same love- Phil. 2:2
  • We are to comfort one another- 2 Cor. 13:11
  • We are to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other- James 5:16
  • We are to look to the interests of others- Phil. 2:4
  • We are to do good to each other- Gal. 6:10
  • We are to love one another- 1 John 4:7
  • We are to exhort one another- Heb. 3:13

Only so many of those can be accomplished through social media.  Paul desired to see Christians so he could be encouraged by their faith (Rom. 1:11,12).

Busyness.  Introvertedness.  Isolation.  These may be the types of things that lead to a lack of desire for togetherness.  Or maybe the withdrawal comes from hurt feelings.  Maybe someone said something thoughtless or let you down.  Whatever the cause, let us remember that fellowship was special to the church of the New Testament.  Let us remember that fellowship is about more than getting, it’s about giving.  We encourage, love, serve, exhort.  We hug and laugh together.  We light each other’s fire to save souls.  We let others glimpse our faith.

The first century Christians were united and turned the world upside-down (Acts 17:6).  Certainly that is the desire of every Christian today.

Suggestions for the Week:

1.  Look up the “one another” passages and list what Christians are to do together.

2.  If your desire to fellowship is waning, try to determine the cause.  Have you been hurt?  Are you so busy that you are burned out?  Have worldly pursuits distracted you?  Pray about it.

3.  Make sure the same people aren’t having to schedule fellowship activities.  Help brainstorm and create opportunities to be together.

4.  Pay attention to those who are missing fellowship activities.  Reach out to them and encourage them to join you.

5.  Be intentional in your fellowship.  While you’re with Christians, focus on giving, loving, encouraging, and listening.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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4 thoughts on “Revive Me #21- Long for Fellowship

  1. I believe for me the problem is that a ‘fellowship’ meal often lacks fellowship. We prepare the food (which I do enjoy), sit with the ones we often associate with, and then before some have even had the chance to complete their meal, folks are cleaning up, making a quick exit. We’ve hosted many fellowship times in our home, and it’s the same thing. For those times, what really makes it difficult for me is that I don’t want assistance cleaning up in my kitchen as soon as the meal is finished, I want to visit, as a member of the group. I’ve not been successful in deterring the assistance, the helpers just keep on helping, which doesn’t allow for fellowship, because when clean-up is complete, they’re ready to. What I need to discover is the best way to decline assistance without hurting anyone’s feelings, so that we can truly fellowship and enjoy our time spent together.

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    • Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! Fellowship doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective. Perhaps the greater emphasis could be placed on consistency, getting together frequently. Some enjoy visiting while working alongside another. It makes me feel useful and like “family” when a woman lets me help her in the kitchen. You can build intimacy that way. There’s no formality when you’re up to your elbows in suds with someone. Ha. I know God is blessing your efforts! Thanks for exemplifying hospitality!

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  2. I see the same things here that Lin mentioned – there are always those that like to “eat and run” – for whatever reason. But there are lots of those that stay long after the meal is cleaned up too… I love fellowship meals because it forces me to really talk to people (I am sometimes way too introverted) – I have to actually talk to them, not just say “Hi, how are you?” then walk away after they respond “fine”. If I am sitting across from them or cleaning up a table with them, I HAVE to find things to say to them or ask them about – when our family finally leaves the building or home, I usually feel closer to those that I have taken time to talk with. Thanks again, Kathy, for a great blog post.

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