I wrote this for our newsletter this week. Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. This moving into a house thing is kind of hectic. You who aren’t members of Fellowship will have to translate and apply the general themes of this post to your own church/ministry/life. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I love the name of our church: Fellowship Baptist Church.
Baptists are known as people who value fellowship. Perhaps we are best known for our covered dish luncheons. These are a staple of Baptist identity and, in my opinion, should be added to the list of Baptist distinctives! We are known for these fellowships because we value such fellowships and go to great lengths to put on such fellowships.
We, as a body, value fellowship so highly that we chose to stake our name and identity on the quality of fellowship in our midst and call our family in Christ, Fellowship Baptist Church.
Throughout scripture we see fellowship being highly prized among God’s people. The calendar of the Hebrews was arranged around their festivals, which were times of worship and fellowship. Jesus’ first miracle was to turn the water to wine at a wedding which served to keep the fellowship going long into the night. Jesus is often pictured throughout the gospels at a meal in fellowship or in a fellowship of discussion and teaching with His disciples and followers. Truly, God is in continual fellowship with Godself as God exists in the trinity.
We are created for community and fellowship. We are not created for isolation, loneliness, and fractured relationships. If we are to be very honest, we, as Baptists, along with being known for our fellowships are known for our tendency to fracture and divide. We do it well and we do it often. Many times it is necessary. Many times it is not.
We have staked the name by which we are known on the sweet fellowship we experience with Christ and with each other. Our name signifies our desire to cultivate and grow deep, intimate fellowship and community with our God, with one another, and with our world. To do so requires patience, understanding, openness, humility, and intentionality.
We are Fellowship Baptist Church so let us be about sweet fellowship. Let us be about gathering together for worship, and discipleship, and simply to be around one another. Let us work hard to get to know and love one another on individual and intimate levels. Let us be intentional in inviting each other over to dinner, out for coffee, to a ball-game, or to church. In our times together let us seek to understand one another in all our uniqueness and individuality.
As we as a family mature, It will be the depth and quality of the fellowship that exists in our midst that draws others to us. It will be the depth and quality of our fellowship that goes out and sweetens our world with the rich, enticing aroma of Christ.
So be people of action. Look at our church calendar and make plans to not only worship together but to take advantage of opportunities to fellowship with one another. Starting this Sunday we will begin our worship service at 10:40 instead of 10:30 so as to give us more time for fellowship between Sunday school and worship. Men, RSVP today for our Men’s breakfast this Sunday! Everyone, make plans to come to our celebration of baptism Sunday after church. Then invite someone to go to dinner with you afterward. Put our Fellowship Day at the Farm down on your calendar. Regardless of what phase of life you are in, come out and get to know your church family better as we enjoy each other and all Sweet Berry Farm has to offer. Take advantage of these opportunities!
Let us learn to cultivate the community of Fellowship Baptist Church. Let us come to live up to our wonderful name.