What does fellowship mean to you? For many it’s a matter of getting together, sharing a meal, and having fun with other people. Those are good things; I like those things, and we should be doing more of those things as a church family. However, fellowship in the church should be more than that.
Our Sunday morning Adult Bible Fellowship group is currently going through “BASIC,” a video series about what it means to be the church by Francis Chan, a Christian writer and minister in California. In the episode dealing with fellowship he states that we should have “a fellowship together, a sharing. Not just of thoughts, ideas, but a sharing of everything, to really care for one another.” In the video he referred to Acts 2, where the early church met together regularly and shared meals and studied the teachings of Jesus, and to Acts 4, where the early church shared everything they had with whomever had need. But I that is just the starting point; fellowship is more than getting together and more than sharing what we have.
Paul writes in Galatians 6:2 that we should “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” In this passage, Paul is instructing believers about how to deal with sin problems within the church. He states that by helping each other deal with our sins, we are fulfilling Jesus’ command to love one another.
But how can we bear one another’s burdens if we don’t share our burdens with each other? How can we share our burdens with each other if we don’t know each other well enough to trust each other? We have to make an effort, and the easiest way to begin is with simply getting together.
The Easter Experience groups have been a good first step toward getting to know other people in the church. But we need to keep growing together as a body, as a family. As we wrap up the Easter Experience, consider continuing to meet with your group or even starting a new group. Get together once a week or a few times a month for a meal; pray together; talk about the last sermon together. Keep growing together in love so that those who are not part of the family will long for what we have and decide to follow Jesus and join the family.