Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Is fellowship just "being with" other believers? Or is it something much deeper and potentially much more frightening than that?

From John Loftness, "Chapter 2: Fellowship Rediscovered" in Why Small Groups? ... together for maturity, ed. C.J. Mahaney.
"What is fellowship as defined in the New Testament? Just this: participating together in the life and truth made possible by the Holy Spirit through our union with Christ. Fellowship is sharing something in common on the deepest possible level of human relationship--our experience of God himself." (p. 19)

The 8 Means of Fellowship:
  1. Worship together.
  2. Pray for one another, especially regarding the things that burden us and how God is at work in our lives.
  3. Utilize our spiritual gifts to help others grow in God.
  4. Carry one another's burdens.
  5. Share about our spiritual experiences.
  6. Confess our sins to one another.
  7. Correct one another when we see someone has failed to recognize and take responsibility for his sins.
  8. Serve one another in practical ways. (pp. 24-25)
"We must, however, beware of thinking that the mere act of doing of any of these things will automatically produce fellowship. Remember, these are 'means of fellowship.' They simply put you in a place where fellowship becomes possible, not certain. True fellowship is a work of the Spirit by grace. ... Still, failure to practice these means of fellowship denies us the opportunity to draw on fellowship as a means of grace." (p. 25; emphasis original)

(Download this chapter for FREE.)


At 21 May, 2008 08:22, Blogger etoc said...

Much of what passes for fellowship in many churches is nothing more than polite getting along--and with less fun than unbelievers typically have doing the same! Thanks for the great post that points to the deeper reality, Eric.

At 21 May, 2008 08:34, Blogger Timothy said...


At 21 May, 2008 09:01, Blogger Sean Crowe said...

Are you telling me that fellowship isn't just eating Mrs. Clawson's chili in the church basement???

Seriously though, I love the Matrix quote in regards to fellowship. I think you have smashed that nail right on the head. I think most church pastors (and many church members) know what true fellowship is, they are just too darn yella to teach and embrace it.

As a young janitor once said on screen "There's a lot of bad isms in this world." One of the church's biggest isms (of course, besides liberalism) is individualism.

We need to spit out the blue pill and dive head-first down the rabbit hole.

At 21 May, 2008 09:14, Blogger Sean Crowe said...

Just want to clarify...I have taken enough blue pills to put the B.P.I. (Blue Pill Industry)out of business.

At 21 May, 2008 11:31, Blogger samurai said...

An excellent book, and an excellent post. "Fellowship" is just brushed over. At least within my "sphere", of late.

Thanks Gunny.

At 21 May, 2008 16:26, Blogger Lance said...

Some of my closest relationships with Christians have been forged over YEARS of time together.

Parts of that time were formal (study, worship, small groups), but greater parts of that time were more informal--experiencing the joys and trials of life together, as well as everything in between.

Unfortunately, I forget this and become impatient with newer attempts at "fellowship" that have not "aged" long enough to be what God means.

In short: Perhaps fellowship is like good wine---it gets better and richer over time.

But who has that kind of time?


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