Fellowship Matters

fellowship

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Fellowship is the intentional gathering of God’s people to walk alongside each other, socialize, learn, and encourage each other. Fellowship constitutes spending quality time with the family of God.

WHY FELLOWSHIP IS HARD

  1. Selfish ulterior motives. What’s in it for me? I come to get. I come to be entertained.
  2. High, lofty expectations. It has to solve all my problems.
  3. Introvert. Do not want to be around people. Want to be alone. Want to get away from crowds.
  4. Do not want to be around religious people. Don’t want to hear religious talk. I’ve my friends far from here. Phony, hypocrites.
  5. Too spiritual, too quickly. Too heavenly minded, no earthly good.
  6. Too shallow, too goofy. Feel it’s a waste of time. Too earthly minded, no heavenly good!
  7. Too busy. Life demands. Work and family, school and social life. No time for another extra church thing. Busy schedules.
  8. Dysfunctional relationships. Distrust that this would work. Fear there will be fights and disagreements.
  9. Insecurities. I’m not as good as they. I might be exposed. Not ready to be amongst them. I can’t afford to bring those items. I don’t know what to wear. Fear of being judged.
  10. Hurt/gossip. Sometimes Christian groups are not safe environments.

Here is how I define FELLOWSHIP

F – family. Friends. You belong.

E – encourage, inspire. You can do this. This is how it’s done.

L – Listen. Learn from each other. Observe each other. Older and younger. Grow together. Learn with each other. KNOW CHRIST; KNOW OTHERS; KNOW YOURSELF

L – Love one another. To know all is to forgive all. Misconceptions gone.

O – Obliged to check in. Accountability. Liable. I haven’t seen you at church in a while. 

W – Witness, talk about the Lord. About life. Teach others.

S – Service. Carry each other’s burdens. Be there for each other.

H – Human touch. Hugs and care. We crave human interaction.

I – Intimacy. Deep knowledge. Deep friendships. Closeness to others.

P – Pray. Know what to pray for. Prayer partners. Prayer list.

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HOW TO FELLOWSHIP

  1. DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS. Join a group. Band, songsters, Bible Study, etc
  2. GREET PEOPLE (BY NAME). Know people. Celebrate their special occasions.
  3. MEALS.  Join us in the fellowship hall for a meal. Come in say HI
  4. SOCIAL MEDIA/Facebook. Use social media to keep in touch, and to build relationships.
  5. OUTSIDE CORPS. Organize and attend outside corps events. Organic meetings outside the corps can build relationships.
  6. PICNIC. Picnics are essential in the life of a corps life. The park, sports, BBQ, children’s games, sitting at a table, all encourage fellowship.
  7. FAMILY EVENTS. Invite and celebrate family events together.
  8. DO CORPS MINISTRY TOGETHER. Fellowship can be done on your way to CCM, a concert, serving at the Food Bank, etc.
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Do Good!

Do Good

Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

While we do not do good deeds to be saved, good deeds reveal that we are saved. The love of God oozes through our pores, spurring us to do good for others. Doing good makes us the extension of God’s hands and fee to a suffering world. God is the provider of all good gifts; the suffering world is the beneficiary of God’s good gifts. Our good deeds are the conduit through which God’s good gifts flow to His people. As Christians, we are called to never tire or become disconcerted with doing good.

  1. Emulate Jesus in doing good. Acts 10:38 says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

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  1. Love what is good. Titus 1:8 says, “Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
  2. Desire to do good. Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
  3. Be ready to do good. Titus 3:1 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.”
  4. Be committed to doing good. Titus 3:8 says, “This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.”

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  • “Count that day lost in which you’ve not done something good for another.”(Unknown)
  • “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, to everyone you can, as long as you ever can—do all the good you can.” – John Wesley

Have you done any good deeds for anyone lately?

What is God calling you to do for someone this week?

What is stopping you from doing good?

How to Build a Strong Marriage

Wedding

This month, my wife and I celebrate 19 years of marriage. Here are a few things I have learned about marriage:

  1. Pray together to stay together. Pray for and with each other daily. Some couples find it weird or awkward to pray together. You must overcome the weirdness. Prayer helps create a bond between you both. You grow together spiritually. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Talk, call, text, email. Lear to express your feelings. Lack of communication stifles marriages. This also requires the need to listen.  Not to simply hear, but to listen to what the other is saying.  It is better to over-communicate, than to under-communicate. Secrets are the foundation of trouble.
  3. Leave and cleave. Be careful how much friends and family involvement you allow. Have each other’s backs. Do not attack, slander your spouse to your family, friends, or online.

 

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4. Handle finances together. Budget together. Handle finances well. Financial infidelity leads to problems.  Debt can destroy your marriage.

5. Respect each other. Calling each other names, sarcasm and derogatory statements can destroy your spouse. Be patient and caring. Be the C.E.O. (Chief Encouraging Officer) for each other.

6. Forgive each other. You will offend and disappoint each other. Apologize when wrong.  Don’t be stubborn. Saying I’m sorry is a sign of strength not weakness.  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

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7. Spend time together. Your time together must be a priority. Love is spelled T-I-M-E. Spend quality time with the person you love.  Date your mate.  Keep the fire burning through dates. Enjoy each other’s company. Put the smartphones down. Disconnect to reconnect.

8. Be faithful.  There will always someone more handsome/beautiful than your spouse. Be faithful to your spouse. Go on dates. Keep your love fresh and growing.

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9. Love is decision. Love is not just a feeling. You will wake up one day saying, “What did I do?” You married that person, that’s what you did. Decide to stay in love, even when the going gets tough.

10. Think in twos. Involve each other in all decision-making efforts. Check with your spouse first, before agreeing to something.

11. Right company. Surround yourselves with other couples and mentors who encourage, challenge, and support your marriage. There are many forces working against your marriage. Build a hedge of protection around your marriage through your support network.

12. Testimony. Let you marriage be a testimony to your children, family, friends, church, and community. Set an example so that many want to have a marriage like yours. Your children are watching you. Do this marriage thing right!

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