My life is a constant sprint. I wake up to the alarm each morning, spend a few minutes in God’s Word before rolling out of bed, check my calendar to remember the day’s agenda, lace up those running shoes, and hardly stop moving until collapsing in bed at night. There are many people I interface with each day and, since I am terrible at saying “no” to anyone or anything, the days all blur together in an endless stream of chaos.
The strange truth is, I really don’t enjoy being around lots of people. It’s scary. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel vulnerable and self conscious. But I do like sharing Jesus and the only way to effectively do that is to… (are you ready for this?)… be around people! So, that’s what I do. I spend my days with people. However, I’m learning that while building relationships are important I’m usually missing out on true fellowship.
We often think fellowship is synonymous with socialization. Dinner with friends. Play-dates. A workout class at the gym. Or, if you grew up in a small town church like I did, potluck dinners. But fellowship is much more than just a social activity. It’s about being with other Christians who encourage us to follow Jesus better. It’s intentional time, that is often challenging to find, carved out of busy schedules. True fellowship requires intentionality and discipline.
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. – 1 John 1:3
For our family, intentional fellowship happens during community group on Tuesday nights. Community groups are our church’s way of connecting people together so that we can regularly apply the Bible, build authentic relationships with one another, and care for each other. Our faith strengthens when we are united with others in Christ and this is where true fellowship flourishes.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20
But, as Christ followers, perhaps the most critical form of fellowship is the constant companionship we are to have with God. If we follow Jesus’ example, we see that He was in a never-ending intimate relationship with His Father. He spoke to God. He cried out to God. He listened to God. He served God. Despite the challenges and ridicule Jesus faced, His relationship with God was never neglected.
Fellowship is not optional. It is necessary. It is where we find a sense of purpose and belonging. It is a place for the body of Christ to grow in faith and wisdom and love.
As we approach Easter… stop for a few moments and think about what Biblical fellowship looks like in your life. Where are you connecting with other Christians and how are you growing in your own relationship with Christ?