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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Revive Me, Week 13- Be a Greeter

Revive Me, Week 13– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be a Greeter

When you think of your home congregation, what are some words you would use to describe it?

active, warm, loving, sincere, giving, evangelistic

OR

cold, dead, apathetic, stuck in a rut, cliquish

 

Part of how your home congregation can be described is directly related to your role in that same congregation.  If you are consistently warm and friendly, the congregation is warm and friendly because you help make up the church.  If you keep to yourself or just go through the motions, the congregation does, too, because you help make up the church!

You definitely have an effect on the Lord’s church.  How the church is seen in your community depends on what you do or don’t do every time you meet with the saints.  God can use your efforts to grow His kingdom!

One easy way to make sure you’re doing your part to make the church warm and loving is to be a greeter.  Smile and speak to all who come.  Have you ever visited a congregation and left shaking your head because no one spoke to you?  That should never be said of the Lord’s church!

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you” (Rom. 16:16).

“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matt. 5:47).

“Greet” appears 59 times in the New Testament.  It means “to welcome” and also means “to respect; to be happy about; to embrace.”  What an impact we could make if we greeted EVERYONE who comes into the assemblies in that way, visitors and members alike!

“The way we behave toward people indicates what we really believe about God.”  –Unknown

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  If you have a church directory, go through it and see if there some names you’re not as familiar with.  Jot them down and make a point to have a real conversation with them the next time you see them.
  2. Don’t spend all of your “fellowshipping time” with your familiar friends.  Step out of your comfort zone and use that time instead to grow in your relationships with others.  Look for those who might be overlooked or neglected.
  3.  Spend time in the foyer before and after worship looking for visitors.  Greet them warmly.
  4.  If you struggle with remembering names, don’t hesitate to ask again, write it down, or do whatever it takes to help you.  Calling someone by name the next time you see them makes them feel special.
  5.  Encourage your children to be greeters.  Ask them to go up and talk to three others before they run off to play with their friends.  You can assign different ones each week (senior citizens; teachers; elders; teens, people they don’t know, etc.).
  6. Make a point to speak kindly (sincerely so) to those who are prickly.  You might even surprise them with a hug.  Who knows?  You may be the one who softens them up!
  7. Create a culture of warmth by asking a different person each week to join you in greeting others.