The “All In” Bible study with Pastor Parrott was a dynamic illustration of koinonia, a Greek word meaning “sharing in common.” It was greater than a reiteration of our ministry expansion campaign; it was about serious application and that we’re All In together.
Group Bible study is fellowship with God and our Christian family. It’s a bridge between the pew and presence.
Together we’re not alone in battles. Together we laugh. Together we glean from our brother’s wisdom and share our broken humanity for encouragement of one another.
Pastor Parrott fervidly communicated our collective call to obey and allow the fortifying of our faith and availability for every call of God.
Still, there is an unspoken reality among us.
While we regard love and unity as “elites” of Christianity, face-to-face fellowship is often treated as the wallflower. We misunderstand it, give it the last investment of our time, or we tuck away our hearts in fear of rejection.
Fellowship is the iron link anchoring us to Jehovah’s vision and our Christian family.
It is: God’s design, not optional, and it is a decision.
We choose: God’s Word for direction, to see cracks in our self-sufficiency that can only be filled by God, and each other.
Paul makes a powerful assertion—on our identity and belonging—to the Church at Ephesus:
“That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” Ephesians 2:19-22 (MSG)
Intimate fellowship has been a healing piece of my transformation as a believer. I’d been sinking in my defective programming that I could do life alone. I have a long history of running from discomfort and isolating myself under the boot of depression.
Recently, God has called me to do three new things: deliberately fellowship with unfamiliar people, listen, and be still in my discomfort (allow fortification of my faith)—no more running from relationships, jobs, or dwelling places until God has released me.
We are conscious stewards of fellowship as we do the following:
Cultivate and guard it, like our souls, by devoted time with God.
Acknowledge one another with eye contact and sincere exchange; render people visible.
Listen actively to people, without prejudice, and allow a “re-calibration” of our love lens.
Learn from small group studies for discipleship, course correction, and interconnectedness.
Discovery Church is stretching as a force of faith, a movement of God that makes disciples of diverse men and women and builds them in love, unity, and fellowship.
We exercise vigilance by recognizing, “When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles, When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.” ~ Corrie ten Boom