3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3 – 10)
Yesterday we reflected on the potential for Christian fellowship to positively impact a world in need. Today as we conclude our focus on the Discipline of Fellowship, I am reminded that the genesis of this 40 Days of Discipline journey was the fellowship a group of men in Trinidad & Tobago experienced approximately 10 years ago. The group, called New Trench Warriors, demonstrated the significant impact Christians can have on the world when fellowship works.
The passage above, written by Paul while in prison, captures how deeply the Apostle felt about Christian fellowship. Please prayerfully read the passage and answer the question below.
Have you experienced Christian fellowship similar to what the Apostle Paul Describes? Please share your experience.
March 20, 2020 at 10:43 am
A resounding, heartfelt yes! My introduction was at a time when I didn’t know what friendship, fellowship or sisterhood meant. Our Bible Study group, Adelphi, taught the discipline of fellowship. We met and the outcome was iron sharpening iron; spiritually growth, accountability, laughter, tears, singing, weddings, funerals, birthdays, graduates, relocations, phone calls, texts… From this fellowship my life has changed for the better.
When these friends come to mind I joyfully pray for them and their family.
I realize that your group was 10 and our group group to 11. Interestingly the maximum number of people who can meet together in this Covid-19 time we live in.
A few days ago I wondered how churches could gather as small groups during this time. And it made me think of the small groups that gathered together in the early church and how Christianity grew during that time.
Lord may we find Fellowship during this time for the advancement of your name.
March 20, 2020 at 10:49 am
I wish too Briget that many would turn to online worship or meet in homes at this time.
March 20, 2020 at 10:46 am
A big loud YES. First was a complicated string of incidents after I saved a black doberman dog on behalf of the animal charity in Dubai. Ended with the police taking me in. My prayer group began praying for me. As I waited in my car in the compound for ages playing my worship tapes, the captain came to tell me. Why over a dog,? You GO. No questions. Praise God. We had a very strong ladies worship group and several home Christian churches in a non Christisn country happily helping refugees from other areas in the Mid east and many in jail.
The second Yes, when I had breast Cancer and I felt the prayers for me from groups around the world . Other worship friends have also reported similar events for themselves when in trouble, illness .when community spirit is their lifeline.
Soup kitchens, Meals on wheels, and community led tea and coffee events without boundaries have been other examples. Sadly not everyone gives praise. Then we all move on .
March 20, 2020 at 11:03 am
I continue to experience the wonderful fellowship through New Trench Warriors. Our weekly gatherings have had a tremendous impact on my Christian walk. Our discussions, debates, growth and fellowship have allowed all the men to grow closer to Christ. We are currently studying “The Strength to Love” which is so applicable for a world in need. Thanks Norman for laying the foundation and the men through NTWs who have helped me in my journey!
March 20, 2020 at 12:41 pm
Unfortunately I can’t say that I have. I thought about the question and realized I don’t usually join a group Bible Study. I’ve been at my current church for about 7 years now, and every year I get an invitation to the Women’s Retreat, and every year I say, “No thanks”. For some reason I think I won’t “fit in” or meet their standards. I wanted to go to the Women’s Bible Study the church has, but I haven’t. I was actually excited about it, and I think about it almost every Thursday because that’s when they meet.
I am a child of God who enjoys Christian music, but still listens to non-Christian music. I still laugh at jokes that aren’t perfectly clean. Sometimes I have a Martini when I go out to dinner. I also watch movies that are worldly. I don’t feel guilty about any of these actions, but I think no one else in these Bible Study groups do these things. I just stay away.
I would love the closeness of a group of Christian women. I actually think I would cherish friendships/relationships like that.
March 20, 2020 at 10:36 pm
Don’t wait.Just try it.May be just what you need or if not try again.
March 21, 2020 at 12:33 pm
March 20, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Yes, and in my case I experienced Fellowship not only with Japanese or Filipinos but with different nationalities having had a chance to live in about 9 countries. To me, every time we get a new posting abroad, the first thing I look for is a church where I can be a member, and then I make sure I have a ladies bible study, and fellowship group that I can meet and study together God’s word every week. In Japan, I I have it every Wednesday, when I was living in T&T, I have it every Thursday, in Oregon every Tuesday and same in Oman. In NY, every Monday, in Islamabad, Pakistan every Wednesday, I can enumerate more, but I will stop here. Having fellowship with my sisters in Christ or with my church family is indeed one of the best experiences I have in my life. To me , meeting my sisters/ friends/ support group is like a battery charger. We pray together, share our hopes, struggles, joy, success, mistakes and helping one another to bounce back or just to listen to each one’s situation and knowing that they pray and care for you is something Ii’ m truly grateful for. We also learn and grow together in the love, grace and mercy of the Lord. Having fellowship with my Christian friends makes my life balanced and focused on Christ.
March 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm
From Pastor Anthony Oliver:
I have experienced sustained Christian fellowship in five (5) main communities over the years : Carenage Pentecostal Church, Trinidad; Church of the Open Door, York, Pennsylvania; Mount Prospect Evangelical Covenant Church, Illinois; Calvary Gospel Assembly, Kingston, Jamaica and the New Trench Warriors, Westmoorings, Trinidad. Sustained Christian fellowship really refreshes the soul and inspires one to live in community and totally committed to Christ.
March 20, 2020 at 10:40 pm
In Trinidad I was disappointed in the women’s group as it turned out to be more of a clique.
Here this group is what it is supposed to be.
Even this afternoon the team leader called to check to see what I need and to send the links to the online worship we missed because of no church service.