24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
We have enjoyed two enlightening days focussing on the Discipline of Worship. What a blessing to see the passion for worship exhibited by those who posted comments. We now switch to the Discipline of Fellowship.
Today Libby has a letter from Felicia. As a reminder, you will play the part of Libby and share your thoughts on the challenges people are facing. Libby is not expected to be an expert. Rather, Libby simply shares from personal and practical experiences. So, please feel free to chime in even if you have questions yourself. Also, even if you don’t have the time to share, think about how you have addressed the challenge in your life or how you would address it in the life of a loved one.
Please review the Bible passage above and Felicia challenge below.
I am just going to come out and say it, “I’ve been faking fellowship.” I attend church on Sundays, arrive just before the service starts (or a little late), and leave as soon as soon as church ends. For years I passed this off as fellowship. I participated in the 40 Days of Discipline journey last year and learned a lot more about fellowship but I haven’t made much progress over the last year.
How do I improve in this area? Do you have some practical suggestions based on your experience?
What thoughts would you like to share with Felicia?
March 29, 2017 at 5:27 am
Felicia, if possible, try to come to church a little bit earlier than you do, and try not to rush out right after. Sometimes when you come a little early, you may meet a person or two who you may end up chatting with and eventually forming a relationship with. The same applies to not rushing out after. Sometimes as I leave my church, I get a hug or few with at least one person wishing me a wonderful week. I love it.
If your church does that “greeting time”, don’t just stand in one spot. Walk out of your comfort zone and shake a hand of someone you don’t know, or even hug a person who looks like they need one. Even if you are uncomfortable at first, if you make it a habit, it will bring joy to your heart. 🙂
As for the actual worship time, I would suggest asking God to let you feel His presence as you worship. Expect to feel his presence as you participate in singing songs, taking the time to listen to the lyrics, listening to the pastor’s sermon with plans to apply what you have learned to your life. Don’t be afraid to lift your hands in praise if you feel led to. Sometimes when you really, really listen to the lyrics and you realize how awesome God is, you may feel like crying. Go ahead.
As you get more comfortable, as you begin to feel God’s presence during worship, as you apply what you heard in the sermon to your life, as God’s presence during worship spills over into your week, you’ll be anxious for the next day of worship to arrive.
I hope this helps. 🙂
March 29, 2017 at 6:20 am
Thanks for coming clean. One way to ease into true fellowship is by participating in a Small Group. I would suggest one that has others in the same life phase as you. Because of the size it eliminates anonymity. The extracurricular activities will likely be of interest and foster an environment for getting to know others.
One of the true joys of fellowship is being vulnerable enough to accept friendships and the blessing of befriending others. Pray and ask God for guidance to the right group and the courage to build authentic relationships.
March 29, 2017 at 8:57 am
On one occasion when I had cause to make a speech to some of my business colleagues, I elaborated a little on the point of relationships, which went like this…
“3. RELATIONSHIP: When you do business with your clients, take the time to get to know them on a personal level. This takes sharing, and since you can’t make anyone share, do it yourself, and share, deeply. You will be surprised by the results!, not with everyone but certainly with many, and most significantly so. And yes, it will also bring business results (but don’t let that be why you do it!).”
Fellowship is simply relationships in The Body, so the same applies, and that is the bit about sharing. Ask the Lord in prayer to lead you to the right people, and then take a step in the direction of being prepared to share.
Another idea, perhaps a little more radical (but in “coming clean” I sense that you are ready for this) would be to take a bold step in the direction that your head is telling you, and then watch your heart follow. What I am suggesting is that you sign up at your church for the welcome/greeters team – you will put yourself out there in one bold step, and God will honour the motives of a clean heart. You will also have the perfect ‘excuse’ to speak to people 🙂
March 29, 2017 at 9:24 am
I heard a funny story that tried to explain fellowship this way – “fellowship is like having two fellows in a ship”😅😊.
I understand fellowship to mean placing the focus on someone else who may need a warm greeting, a word of encouragement, or maybe a listening ear. Whatever the need is l also recognize l too need that interaction with others for my own spiritual growth. Like two fellows in a ship we need each other’s company.
Have a great day.
March 29, 2017 at 2:44 pm
This sounds so familiar. When I first went to service at Westside I did same but over the years I stopped then started but i noticed that I am beginning to feel more welcomed as I stayed back a few minutes as I brought another guest and to make him feel comfortable I had to introduce him and he liked that. He felt more comfortable than the two times he came before when we left immediately.
I also went to traditional Catholic church in the area during my absence from Westside and then I realized the difference and what Fellowship really means.
It helps when the people who belong to the church encourage you and reach out as some people are shy.
Dare I say that Jesus had company too? People need People.