A couple of years ago, we started meeting together with people in our home on Saturday evenings. I wrote about the first get-together in a post called “Fellowship of Faith“. This time of gathering informally with other brothers and sisters was very encouraging for me. In the next few weeks, we are going to start doing this again. This time, we’re going to alternate meeting in our home and meeting in the home of two or three other families.
I probably should have written this post before my last post called “Fellowship of Faith Prayer“, but I didn’t. This post will probably explain why the prayer meant so much to me.
Last night – Saturday – several people came over to our house. There were five families (counting our family). We shared what I would call (and what others there called) “biblical fellowship”. We ate together. We talked to one another. We shared our testimonies and struggles. We prayed for one another. Several people taught, but there was no teaching time. Several people shared how God had convicted them, but there was no confession time. Several people encouraged others, but there was no exhortation time. Instead, we simply came together as brothers and sisters in Christ with no agenda other than interacting with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. (If that sounds repetitive, it was planned.)
You see, the people that sat around our living room last night came from different parts of the country, and even from different countries. Some have followed Christ for many years; others have not been following him very long. Some are new parents; some do not have children; others have been parents for several years. So, we were a diverse group. However, we shared something in common: we have a “fellowship of faith”, and our hearts were greatly refreshed by our brothers and sisters (Philemon 1:4-7). We share the one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6). There is no other commonality that can bind a people together like the fellowship of faith.
We plan to continue inviting people to our home on Saturday evenings. We told the ones who were there last Saturday that they were all welcome to come back at any time. However, we did not want them to think of this as an obligation. Instead, they were welcome to come back whenever they desired to build up other believers and to be built up in return.
I don’t want to talk too much about the particulars of what we did – that’s how “Models, Methods, and Forms” get started. Plus, I expect that next Saturday will be different. Why? Because God is not dead, but living. This week, he may work in people’s lives differently that he did last week. There will be new faces, new struggles, new Scriptures, new exhortations, new mercies. I look forward to that expectantly… and, to be honest, a little anxiously. When we don’t rely on our models, methods, and forms – when we only rely on the Spirit moving and directing his people – we do not know exactly what will happen. But, I do believe that we can trust God to provide what we need.
So, for those who shared their lives with us last Saturday night: Thank you! You greatly encouraged me and my family. For those who may join us this Saturday night: I’m looking forward to how God uses you in my life. I’m also looking forward to how God may use me in your life. Let’s come prepared for “biblical fellowship” and let’s live together this Spirit enabled “fellowship of faith”.