the weblog of Alan Knox

Tune in at 10:00 for Fellowship

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in blog links, fellowship | 5 comments

Tune in at 10:00 for Fellowship

Christopher from “Life With Da Man CD” has hit the nail on the head with his post “The Question of Fellowship.” (By the way, Christopher, being from the other side of the pond, you may not understand good English. Here, “hitting the nail on the head” means you wrote something just right.) :)

As you might guess from his title, Christopher’s post is about fellowship… you know, that word in the Bible that, when realized, makes our life full of people and their messes and disorder and love and laughter and tears and joy and pain and blood and sweat and tears. It’s the stuff we have with one another and with Jesus Christ when we truly get to know each other (including Jesus). (1 John 1:3)

So, Christopher says that when we get together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, fellowship is very important. He writes:

The experience of sitting in a seat (standing at the appropriate bits) as part of row of other people sitting in seats (standing at the appropriate bits), and looking up at a group leading singing and then some dude or dudette talking at me, before being dismissed seems to miss this purpose pretty significantly.

Am I edified by seeing the bulk of the work of it done by a group of others? Well, actually, yes. Yes I am. The songs can be moving and uplifting. What the dudette has to say can be stirring and stimulate the passion for following Jesus Christ. I am edified. But … and here’s the thing … I can get all that at home. I can. I do, often.

The aspect then of MUTUAL edification and fellowship requires a lot more engagement and interaction than a lot of experiences provide. And just because it’s the way it has always been done, and just because attendance is the measure of spiritual commitment in some places, that does not mean we’re living any better lives as a community through these experiences.

As you think about Christopher’s words above, let me add this. Most of us would agree that we can’t just listen to the radio and get what we need to grow and mature in Christ (even if the radio preacher is right and good and godly). Similarly, most of us would also agree that we can’t just watch a great preacher on TV and get what we need to grow and mature in Christ (even if all that stuff I said about the radio preacher). Again, most of us would agree that we can’t get what we need to grow and mature in Christ by listening to a great podcast on the internet (even if all that other stuff).

So, why do so many feel that they can get what they need by listening to someone else in person? It doesn’t work that way. That’s not the way that God designed us to work, and it’s not the way that God works in and through us.

Like Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:16, if we want to grow in unity and faith and maturity, then it takes the whole body (the WHOLE body) working together. Period.

That’s not something you can “phone in” or “tune in” or “sit and watch.” And, it’s not something that you can get someone else to do for you.


5 Comments

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  1. 1-23-2013

    BINGO! You hit the nail on the head brother! Sorry … couldn’t resist. 8-D

  2. 1-23-2013

    Kevin,

    Thank you, but that nail was already hit squarely by our brother Christopher!

    -Alan

  3. 1-23-2013

    Alan,

    Christopher certainly hit it squarely!

  4. 1-23-2013

    “The aspect then of MUTUAL edification and fellowship requires a lot more engagement and interaction than a lot of experiences provide.”

    It’s not just “a lot more”. It’s 100% more. Zero one another expression must be replaced by 100% mutuality and reciprocal expression. I would add, it also adds 100% more preparation for the gathering – Monday thru Saturday. Mutual edification requires 24/7 body life – walk with Christ and walk in the Word, and walk with the saints in mind and prayer. It is hard work. It is intense. It is a total paradigm shift from viewing the pulpit as the source of spiritual vitality – feeding, equipping, etc. The pulpit feeding is a 100% bogus substitute for God’s every member of the body design – including the children.

  5. 1-23-2013

    Aussie John,

    It’s great to hear from you again. I’ve been wondering how you were doing… and praying for you.

    Tim,

    A single person speaking (sermon) can and does provide some amount of edification. But, it cannot be considered “mutual edification,” and one person cannot provide everything the church needs to grow (at least, not according to Paul).

    -Alan