Monday, November 30, 2009

A Word about Fellowship

Yesterday I mentioned that one of the highlights of Thanksgiving in Rizhao was having fellowship with other believers. I had looked forward to singing and praying together, and it was awesome to be able to thank God together for his work in our cities. It was like the description of the early church in Acts 2: "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." I've been reflecting on how joyful our fellowship was over Thanksgiving, and (if it's okay with you), I want to speak candidly about my reflections:

If you are a believer, your fellowship is your built-in support system. They are your family when your family can't be there. They can lead you, encourage you, serve with you and dream with you. These are substantial benefits, and I think they are taken for granted in America. It seems to me that fewer people would leave churches if they experienced life in an place like China, where meeting together is a privilege and large group teaching and worship in our own language may be a rare treat.

If you are not a believer, you miss those benefits. You don't get to worship God with a fellowship of sisters and brothers who love you, love God, and love the world. You don't get to be challenged by others to keep growing. You don't get to be part of a team that lives for something bigger than ourselves. You miss knowing the perfect Father and his imperfect family. Don't miss it! We need him, and we need each other.

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