Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Fellowship matters

I get an email every now and then from an organization called the 'navigators.' It seems like a good enough organization, but I honestly hardly ever read their emails. The first thing I saw today, though, linked to an article by Mike Smith called "Why Fellowship Matters." They included this excerpt with the link to the article:
Does "meeting together" really matter that much? Is "spurring one another on" all there is to biblical fellowship? How important is fellowship in the life of someone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus? Jesus Himself said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
Jesus made it pretty clear there was something about how His followers were to relate to one another that would make it obvious to others that they belonged to Him.

That really struck my heart - especially at this particular time when there seems to be so much division in so many churches (including mine). The author goes on to say...

Fellowship revolves around the redemptive work of God in our lives. As we meet together and share the things that God has done, we get a bigger picture of God’s work. As we see that bigger picture, we come to know Christ better. And as those around us see how we interact with one another, they recognize us as belonging to Him. They have the opportunity to see redemptive behavior in action. They, too, see a bigger, clearer picture of Jesus—lived out in the lives of those who follow Him.

I guess it kind of raises the question in my mind: when people see how I interact with others, who do they think I belong to??

I really long for a church full of people that love one another (you know... "disciples of Jesus"). It is so sad when I see people in a church community being mean to one another, or refusing to fellowship with one another. They/we are missing so much. And I don't think some people even realize it.

At the same time, it makes me really thankful for the people I do have good fellowship with. Sometimes I think "church" may happen most among some of the people who least think they're a part of it, and maybe happens least among those who do think they're a part. I don't know...

Anyway, today I want to try to remember to ask myself: Who do people think I belong to? I want to belong to Jesus, and I want that to show in how I interact with others. I will need some help with that though.