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fellowship.... its not about a get together for 60 mins in a house

Discussion in 'House Churches & Cell Groups' started by Alithis, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

    New Zealand
    Fellowship in regard to the life of a disciple of the Lord Jesus .

    The word fellowship in the (modern) English language has only a light connotation that, i think, for the most part, is poorly understood when it comes to the context of discipleship .

    One of the largest misconceptions causes A struggle between the active christian Life
    And the need of fellowship.. It has caused us for many years to always be seeking a balance between the two . I believe this is because the entire thinking is incorrect and is why the dilemma arises in the first place.

    Modern understanding mixed with strong traditionalism has caused the topic to be dissected into two parts . consisting of
    We must be active in our faith
    We must have good fellowship
    Creating the connotation that an active faith “only”, neglects good fellowship. Or that “only” having good fellowship neglects a life of active faith .
    Both of course are erroneous for the simply reason they are not and never were two things .
    We’ve been trying to balance the same end of one stick .

    To give an example for this i find myself doing what i really do not like doing , but it paints the picture so clearly for us .
    So i give for example the script from the book “the lord of the rings “..
    -In this script we see the scenario of a group of people who step forward to a common goal and then commit themselves to that goal .
    This group of people then set off on a journey in life to see this goal reached .And in the script this is referred to as “the FELLOWSHIP of the ring “
    We see the older English meaning and weight behind this word in Tolkien's book .
    In this “fellowship “ the group travel a journey and in the process get to know one another better, growing from acquaintance to deepening friendship .
    This increases to the point that common battles are fought and they begin to lay down their lives one for another -when some are abducted from the fellowship, the fellowship set off in pursuit to take back their companions from the enemy of the goal . but we see whether together or parted from one another the commitment to the goal remains steadfast as each work their part to see the goal reached .
    THIS … is fellowship .
    Not one alone committed to the goal but all together committed to the goal .
    [An added thought - (“One can run on very fast but ultimately not go far ..while Many will not go forward quite so fast but will go all the way .” -curry blake)]

    We are in the FELLOWSHIP of the LORD JESUS, the goal to save as many as possible from eternal death via the gospel .. part of doing that requires making more disciples .
    The goal can never be reached if we turn fellowship into a separate entity of meetings .(for we see this is What has already been happening for centuries from generation to generation) . when it becomes about meetings it becomes no longer part of the fellowship but rather an external dissociated study ABOUT the fellowship .
    We learn very very little in a meeting in a lounge . we learn vast amounts out doing (practicing) the gospel in every nuance of it .
    It’s said we need good fellowship .. so what is GOOD fellowship ? simply..

    -it is when all parties are committed to the SAME goal .in fact so committed that they are willing to die so that their companions can go on and succeed in that goal . this is the commitment we saw from our lord and master JESUS -our supreme example in ALL THINGS .
    So how does such fellowship work practically ? … we have the babes in Christ, the young men ,the fathers . Don't put differing focus on “ doing vs the meeting” .. stop making that distinction ,stop separating what was never meant to be separated .

    Ok ,so here in Fiji we have all three .. babes in Christ, young men and fathers in faith ..
    We seek to disciple all of us . One submitting to the holy Spirit in another (submitting one to another ).. We’ve tried meetings to encourage and teach with modern format ideas .. they play a very small part as far as effectiveness. I’m not saying they are ineffective ,as they Can edify .very much so . But as far as being translated into increasing maturity of faith ..it seems to play a very small part . one shy struggling person is often not going call out their need so easily at first in such a setting . The danger of “meetings “ is that the meetings risk becoming the goal which detracts from and distracts from the real goal .. the real fellowship of purpose and goal in JESUS .
    (i refrain at present from going into the depths of spiritual fellowship in Christ and the true DEATH to self and resurrection of it all. as i want to keep this shorter )

    In practice we are finding that the activity of the life of faith ,done(practiced ) in unison with believers of all ages ( not physical years) in the common pursuit of the will of GOD is the greatest form of fellowship there is .
    So we go out to share the gospel (in all forms -streets ,work,social etc) because our lives are not our own -(or should not be ) and we live to see God’s will done .
    On our way we gather as we go . whether two three more ..
    We discuss,have discourse ,edify one another pray for one another .. we go heal the sick preach the gospel (in all forms but always the same Gospel) ...later we gather again, rejoice ,share testimony ,break bread, pray one for another. older teaching younger ..two walk together and the shy one gets to share their. struggle .. then gets prayed for and given godly counsel in love by the elder in the lord etc -you get the picture .-it is life ongoing - -”and many of you ought to be teachers” - in this respect .

    The hindrance to this true sense of “ the fellowship of Christ “ is when people are not fully committed to it ,they are not yet stepping up out of the crossing of the red sea to go forward .they still desire the house the car the sociability the “whatever their own goal is “ . this is what causes the “meetings which study the fellowship from “outside” the fellowship .
    The scary thing is, that such meetings are not IN the fellowship of CHRIST but become a fellowship of study “ABOUT” the “fellowship IN Christ” . AND ever learning they never come to the truth .

    The Fellowship of Christ JESUS “ is not a get together for 30 /60/90 minutes .
    The Fellowship of Christ JESUS is a union of people committed to the same goal ,to see that goal realized no matter what it costs ,willing to lay down life for one another (as our lord showed us ) willing to be a nobody so our companions can step on our back and be elevated over an obstacle and run on to reach the goal of the furtherance of the Gospel for the lord JESUS and the salvation of the many .
    Thus the fellowship of the lord Jesus cannot be taught in a meeting of theologies but in a life lived out .that one may learn by the active GODLY EXAMPLE of another, how to “walk worthy” of the robes of righteousness they have been so graciously clothed in by the lord .
    The living out action IS the Discpling process .
    And sadly those who claim to be disciples but consistently don't take much (or any) part in living it out by action .. are not YET (sadly) “IN” the Fellowship of the lord JESUS .

    We are in the fellowship of the Lord JESUS committed to our common goal of his will in obedience and the furtherance of the gospel . you are IN fellowship with me .I am in fellowship with you . whether we are together in body or on opposite ends of the earth .whether i see you weekly or never see you until our lord comes, i remain your faithful servant and you mine in Christ, IN fellowship …. And it is in THIS fellowship that we all GROW in faith and maturity in Christ

    I pray this aids our mindset and EDIFIES our faith in JESUS and the fellowship and helps remove the (what i believe is an illusory traditionally created ) dividing line .

    Michael S Fuller .
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?

    FIRESTORM314 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United Kingdom
    Living the Dream Then ;)

    That was quite challenging. I think leaders do need to teach the practicalities of doing the real work of reaching out with the Gospel. I can see where you are coming from so that rather than talking and talking and talking you are showing them how to do it - giving them some real experience and more hands on discipleship.

    What's Life like in Fiji - is it more quieter than in the West. Do you think that sort of approach would work in the West. Life can be very busy - I Can see my wife , after working a 50 hour week , having a word to say if I said we need to get out and reach people. I might end up sleeping alone.

    Yeaah- I have often thought - come on let's stop the study and go and do the real thing. I've often heard many a preacher talk of Faith and acts of Faith and not give a demonstration for us to see.

    Challenging Stuff Alithis :oldthumbsup:
  3. Pioneer3mm

    Pioneer3mm Active Member Supporter

    United States
    To: Allthis
    Interesting topic/thread.
    I agree with you on
    Importance of "committed to the same goal...
    goal of the furtherance of the gospel.."
    Meetings in "any local church setting" -
    (mega, house, etc) cannot make "fellowship in Christ" happen.
    - Even though they call it "fellowship" meetings.
    I have been in different types of "fellowship meetings"..during 45+ years of spiritual journey.
  4. SwordmanJr

    SwordmanJr Double-edged Sword only

    As strange as some of the beliefs are that Gene Edwards drifted toward during the latter part of his life and ministry, he did one thing well, which is to pinpoint the tragic loss of any understanding and experience within churchianity for TRUE fellowship. People have been sitting together looking at the backs of each other's heads for so many centuries now that the concept of fellowship is utterly distorted, fractured and scattered beyond their experiential understanding. Nobody, to my knowledge, has yet mastered the art of fellowshipping with the backs of other people's heads.

    That's why I have been building and attending home fellowships for more than 25 years now, rarely ever darkening the doorsteps of institutional church organizations apart from funerals, weddings, and occasional visits to see what they're all about (still having found nothing unusual or different from historic churchianity).

    TRUE fellowship is dangerous to modern experience and thinking. The world over, people have been conditioned to think along the lines of fierce individualism, thus the usual withdrawal away from those who dare exhibit an openness to others from within their lives, and especially when those people look to others for the same openness. We've been conditioned to see openness as dangerous to the stability of the brickwork in the walls we've constructed around ourselves. This becomes even more pronounced in the lives those who are harboring secret sins, which describes an alarmingly higher percentage of people than I care to gander a guess.

    Opening up to others the inner complexities and specifics of the very depths of one's inner world makes us vulnerable to one another, and that scares most people, not just a few. We've all been conditioned to a life-view that is contrary to the tribal approach to communal life. We can live right next to one another, and not know the other's name after decades of occasionally waving at one another if we happen to be outside at the same time, and happen to be looking toward each other. Some brave souls reach out and actually knock on the neighbor's door, causing the neighbor to think when answering the door, "Hmm. Wonder what's wrong...."

    If only more and more people would learn what a wondrous release into freedom it is to deal with all their secret sins, open themselves up to others, embrace being transparent, and therefore no longer upholding the facade of being cool, collected, self-reliant, altogether self-sufficient, they would then be freed to grow in ways they would never have realized was possible. That is a key as to how the disciples of Jesus became the spiritual giants they were toward the end of their lives, before being executed. Paul learned that for himself. He opened himself up so widely to others that his pride was all but completely destroyed, making him the greatest servant among the ancients who met him, saw his inner world, and partook of his life among them.

    I crave that depth of relationship with others, but there are so few professing believers who ever dare to embark on that journey. It's fraught with dangers that vary in magnitude from person to person....depending on what secret sins they are hiding within the walls they have built up around themselves. Relinquishing our fierce individualism to become servants of others, that is a rare individual. When most encounter such an individual, they tend to shy away from them, thinking TMI (too much information). Most experience shock when actually hearing about the secret sins of others (of course, some sins are best not revealed in mixed company). Secret sins tend to be the massively strong mortar that hold the bricks in place within our inner and outer walls we have erected around ourselves.

    So, when most people utter the word "fellowship", I instantly recognize the shallowness of their understanding when they share what they mean by their use of that word. Most are pathetically ignorant, and, sadly, indifferent to any suggestion to walk with me out into that deadly wilderness to be tested as to what they're REALLY made of; to cast aside their religious crutches AND leave all their secret sins out there in the vast deadness of that wilderness to shrivel up and blow away in the furnace winds of that desert. Many who dare to walk out there try to call upon the rocks to become bread to satisfy their hunger, and for angels to bring cool drink to them. For most, it's just too great a challenge for them to see their own weaknesses, and therefore do what it takes to rise up above it all, calling upon the Most High for the strength to overcome what has held them back from becoming the spiritual giants we should all be in this life. Churchainity has utterly failed in that calling. After all, spiritual giants sport the many battle scars from wars they have had to fight all around them, especially when standing in the gap for others.

    So, for most of you, because of the many dangers that are inherently a part of true fellowship and growth, for those who prefer the safety of their walls and the warm fuzzies of their secret sins, remain where you are. Keep uttering the words "fellowship" and "Christian life" with shallow indifference to any real depth, like most others around you. It's safer and more comfortable to "fit in" by not rocking the boat of your microcosmic lives if the freedom you might otherwise have lived in Christ Jesus seems too great a price to pay to walk as a giant among the spiritual midgets of this world. Some have tried to walk about on stilts, only to be tripped and cast to the ground by the jealousies of the other midgets around them.

    Institutional "pastors" mostly do not countenance anyone who stands head and shoulders above them in spiritual stature. "Pastors" tend to see giants as a threat to their own position, notoriety, and the attention they enjoy from their followers, in spite of the fact that TRUE spiritual giants in Christ Jesus never seek out a following for themselves. Christian giants don't have ushers passing plates around to collect other people's money under the guise of a "tithe" or "giving to the work of the Lord." Spiritual giants seek to help others around them grow in stature, reaching for the highest peaks of the mountains, and then the clouds, and.....beyond.

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  5. watchman1956

    watchman1956 Member

    United States
    This has really help encourage me. We started a home church about 6 months ago. The church is growing mostly with new believers. I really do want to be able to teach them with hands on experiences. When I first got saved I meet a group of people and we went out on the streets every Sunday handing out bag lunches and praying for people. It was the best part of my whole christian walk. Then I got stuck in church and seem to lose all that I had. Well I have left the building behind and looking forward to more of the true life in Christ as we go and walk with him. Thanks for your encouragement brothers.
  6. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    I don't think so.

    A disciple asked Jesus about the town they were overlooking from a hill at a distance:

    "How many people , Jesus, will be saved in that town, many or few ? "

    Jesus answered him "That is not your concern. You simply go and do as the Father in heaven told you to do." (regardless if anyone was saved, or everyone, few, or many)

    Our obedience to the Father in heaven is to be as Jesus' obedience, perfect, and not based on results or feelings or emotions or anything of the flesh.

    Simple, perfect, immediate, unquestioning obedience (similar to required fast obedience in the military , especially when under fire: OBEY NOW! )

    This is possible as Scripture says, only by the Father's accomplishment, and as we trust and obey the Father.
  7. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    Remember as Jesus said : LISTEN to the religious teachers when they teach TORAH (SCRIPTURE), but DON'T live as they live, because they don't do what they say.

    Test everything diligently, always reading the Scripture to be able to know Scripture, God Willing He grants you the understanding of Scripture - His Meaning, not man's meaning.

    Whether a radio broadcast, televised, in person (best usually to find), or in books,

    LISTEN TO SCRIPTURE (verify it is SCRIPTURE), and test everything (Berean like) to be sure it is in harmony with all SCRIPTURE.

    Do not accept anything that is not in Scripture, not in harmony with all Scripture, or that contradicts any Scripture - that is the standard: Scripture.
  8. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    I think this is right on truth: people who have not given up everything, as Jesus says, are not able to be His disciples.

    The first step of being a disciple, or a necessary step anyway (can it be not first?) ,
    is to give up everything,
    just as written throughout the New Testament.