Because of my blog and that topics that I write about, I’m often introduced to people in the Raleigh area who want to talk about church. Often, these people recognize that the church described in the New Testament shared a quality of fellowship and community that is sorely lacking in modern day churches.
Recently, I had the opportunity to have lunch and to talk with someone about that very subject. The two of us actually had quite a bit in common. He and his wife are part of a church in a neighboring town, and he’s concerned about the lack of fellowship.
The leadership at the church is very interested in education, so most so that all of their church meetings – from Sunday “worship service” to their small groups – are centered around teaching. And, more importantly, these meetings are centered around one-way teaching (lecture), where one person presents information to a group (large or small).
The man had already asked his leaders about incorporating more fellowship aspects in some of their smaller meetings, but the leaders were not interested. To them, fellowship must be secondary to lecture.
So what did I do/say?
1) I did not encourage this man to leave his church.
2) I did encourage him to lead the church (and the leadership) in understanding the importance of fellowship, including the important role relationship plays in teaching from a scriptural perspective.
I told him that he might have to seek times of fellowship outside of the scheduled meetings of the church.
I’m praying that his church and leadership are open to listening to him and that they can all grow in fellowship together. I think he can help them alot!