As I mentioned in my post “An Unexpected Journey with the Church,” I’m planning to get together with a group of believers in the Charlotte area in April to discuss how expectations often hinder us from finding fellowship in Christ with one another. Over the next few days, I’m planning to write about various expectations and how those expectations can affect our ability to find fellowship and share our lives with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Over the last few years, I’ve found that location is a huge expectation when it comes to the church.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. It’s time to harp on church buildings, right? Well, yes and no.
It’s true that many, many people expect to find “church” in a specially set aside building, and outside of that building they do not expect to find fellowship. Yes, this is a problem of expectations. But, this same problem of expectations based on location can affect Christians who do not gather in specially designated buildings.
What? That sounds crazy, at first. But, in reality, it’s all the same. You see, it IS possible to find fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ in “church buildings,” and it is possible to find fellowship with other believers in homes, and it is possible to find fellowship with other Christians in parks and beaches and pubs and any other location.
Expectations get in the way when we ONLY expect to find fellowship in a specific location (whatever that location), and expectations also get in the way when we NEVER expect to find fellowship in certain locations (whatever those locations).
Fellowship is sharing our life in Christ together, and it requires sharing all of our life to grow deeper and deeper in fellowship with one another and with Jesus Christ. When we begin to expect location to affect that ability to share our life, then those expectations (not the location) WILL begin to affect our ability to share our life and find fellowship.
We might expect to find fellowship in a certain location and be disappointed when relationships are not formed or deepened there. We might not expect to find fellowship in a certain location and miss the opportunities that God provides for us to get to know our brothers and sisters better and to serve them.
Are there some locations that are more conducive to building relationships and sharing our lives with one another? Yes, sure. But, we should never discount any location in which we are with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Any location can be a place in which we find and deepen fellowship.
Church buildings? Homes? Parks? Beaches? Office buildings? Schools? Anywhere.
Wherever we are, let’s keep our eyes and ears open, discerning what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of the people around us, and we will not be disappointed by expectations related to our location.
Series on Expectations and Fellowship
- Introduction – “An Unexpected Journey with the Church”
- Expectations concerning location
- Expectations concerning activities
- Expectations concerning people
- Concluding (and continuing) thoughts