I’ve been part of more organized groups of believers and less organized groups of believers. I’ve been part of churches that meet in dedicated buildings, and I’ve been part of churches that do not meet in a dedicated building. I’ve been part of churches who mostly lived in rural areas, suburban areas, and urban areas. I’ve been part of churches that were organized with hierarchical leadership, and I’ve been part of churches without hierarchical leadership.
Among all of those different ways and locations that Jesus’ followers meet and organize, I’ve found one thing in common: some easily find fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, while others do not easily find fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. And, to be honest, the amount of organization, the type of leadership, the way of gathering together, the location of the group… none of those attributes (or other attributes) affect the fact that some easily fellowship with others and some do not.
I’ve also talked with many of these people who struggle finding fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve found them to be sincere followers of Jesus Christ who desire fellowship with others. Yes, sometimes there have been struggles in the past, but that happens with those who find fellowship also. Yes, there are occasionally issues of sin that the person is struggling with, but this happens with those who find fellowship also.
So, why can some people find fellowship and others can’t? Well, I’ve found there are many different reasons. Often, the people are simply going through a season, and when God brings them out of it, he also fills their life with other brothers and sisters in Christ. But, often, I’ve also found that people just need a few pointers in reaching out to others.
You see, sometimes, people have been taught that fellowship is one particular thing in one particular place at one particular time. By the way, if you think I’m only referring to Sunday morning at 11:00 in a steeple building, I’m not. Some are also taught that fellowship only occurs in the living room of a house on Saturday afternoons.
So, I find myself encouraging people to look in unexpected places for fellowship. I encourage them to keep their eyes open at unexpected times to find fellowship. I keep encouraging people to look for fellowship among unexpected people.
Any time, at any place, among any people is a good time to begin or continue sharing your life with someone else.
Have you ever found that you were able to begin (or continue) sharing your life with unexpected people, in unexpected places, at unexpected times? Could you share part of that story?