Fellowships of the Heart:
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” (Acts 4:32).
When I first started attending church in Regina in the fall of 1990, I had the incredible experience of being a part of Solid Rock Ministries, a small church congregation of about 200 people. It was wonderful because the church was small enough to have the feeling of a close family, where everyone knew everyone else, and they deeply cared for one another. It was great to have a group of Christians who knew me, loved me, accepted me and cared for me. Sadly, when I moved to BC, the first church that I started attending was a mega-church, and lacked the feeling of family that I had remembered and cherished from my first church encounter. (Note: big churches aren’t necessarily bad, as long as they don’t lose their focus on fellowship and relationships). “The little fellowships we form must be small enough for each of the members to know one another as friends and allies.” (John Eldredge, Waking the Dead). The church of today needs to take its cues from the early church in the book of Acts where the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.
It is so important for us as Christians to have a place for us to get connected in deep and meaningful relationships with other believers! This is one of the reasons why Liza and I have always been involved in home groups in our church. For “within a small fellowship…We hear each other’s stories. We discover each other’s glories. We learn to walk with God together. We pray for each other’s healing. We cover each other’s back. This small core fellowship is the essential ingredient for the Christian life. Jesus modeled it for us for a reason. Sure, he spoke to the masses. But he lived in a little platoon, a small fellowship of friends and allies…Church is not a building. Church is not an event that takes place on Sundays. I know, it’s how we’ve come to think of it…Much to our surprise, that is not how the Bible uses the term. Not at all…when Scriptures talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are outposts of the kingdom. A shared life.” (John Eldredge).
I want to challenge you to get involved in a small group where you can get vitally connected in deep and meaningful relationships with a few other believers. Just going to church on Sunday mornings isn’t good enough! What’s important is having close and intimate fellowship with other Christians. Fellowship comes from a Greek word, koinonia, that means fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intimacy—and that very seldom happens in a Sunday morning church service. It happens when Christians “worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together. They hang out together, in each others’ homes.” (John Eldredge). If you’re a teenager, get involved in your church’s youth group. If you’re an adult, get involved in your church’s home groups. If your church doesn’t have home groups, then start your own! Start meeting together outside of the four walls of the church to worship together, eat together, go for coffee together, pray for one another, go on quests together, and hang out together in each others’ homes!
*Book recommendation – if you haven’t read Waking the Dead by John Eldredge, which I quoted from in today’s devotional, I highly recommend it. It has a very inspirational and encouraging message, and will encourage you in your walk with the Lord Jesus.
Pastor Chris Jordan