I am a slow learner sometimes, so I have no right to second guess other people’s thoughts, preferences, or experiences. But I do like a sense of community, which some would call fellowship. My upbringing put church ‘fellowship’ into the Sunday Services, and maybe the occasional special service where tea and biscuits were provided, and a light evening of music was arranged. I liked it, and admit to this being part of my past. A personal observation: Sometimes we bring our past experiences into the present day, and think that’s how it should remain. No, no, a thousand times, NO!!
Now, when I think of fellowship, I think of minds which are alike, who enjoy the same things, and agree in matters of faith and God’s Spirit. More than that, these feelings of unity (because that is what fellowship is) mean we don’t even have to be in the same room. When we give something of ourselves in say, prayer, we are in fellowship with one another. When we give to others in need, we are in fellowship with that person in need. I have stopped thinking that my fellowship with God’s people ends when I am outside the church doors.
I am going to state the obvious. The ‘world’ starts outside the church doors too, and the ‘world’ has even provided the means for us to stay in fellowship with each other, and share our needs and burdens, to allow us to pray. The greatest form of fellowship we have with the Father is prayer, and I would suggest, the greatest thing we can do in fellowship for each other is pray. We also have the means at our disposal to aid fellowship. There are phones, cards, visits, and hey, there’s always Facebook!
I started off by saying I am a slow learner. There are times when we are absent from our own fellowship, for business, illness, or holiday reasons, and it is not possible to send a card, phone, or visit, but we can stay in touch. Sorry, but I am back to Facebook again. As I write this, I am away from my own church family, but I don’t feel the distance so much, because I am able to stay in touch with some family and church folks. I get to know about prayer requests, fun things, heartfelt encouragements, and all through the wonder of Social Media. Let me make a statement, and you can feel free to take it as you wish. Through the social media of Facebook, I hear from, and can participate in other Christian’s needs and lives, but unfortunately not so much from my own church family. I know there are reasons for this, but I would suggest we are missing out on something which is a continuation of the old style of fellowship I once knew in my church, but has been made alive again in a new and different form, and keeping the spirit of togetherness breathing in many churches.
Learning can be slow and even painful, but what about setting aside some of those prejudices we have about Facebook, and using it to God’s glory, and the fellowship of the saints? Just another thought!
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Cor 9:22 NIV