I got this question today. It was sent to me by someone who used the title ‘Apostle and Pastor’ in front of his name. He needed both—in caps! Interesting…
How do you reconcile these scriptures in light of your view of fellowship.
If it is true that you can walk in Christ without fellowship, that means it’s time for you to start a fellowship so you can help those who are not so strong.
While I appreciated the brevity, I find the context absurd. I can’t imagine anyone reading my website thinking that I encourage people to walk with Jesus without fellowship. That’s nuts! I encourage fellowship all the time, but in real relationships with people, not by sitting in your pew once a week watching others around you.
And I can’t imagine anyone reading those three texts and understanding their historical context who would think they obligate people to ‘start fellowships’ or be in a required meeting. People who hunger for the living God don’t need to be obligated to anything. Their hunger for him will lead them to all the people he wants them to connect with.
Here’s how I answered him:
Who said anything about walking with Christ without fellowship? I can gather with other Christians and help new ones grow in the faith by just having fellowship with those God asks me to walk beside in any given season. I don’t have to ‘start a fellowship’ for that. If you read carefully I’m not advocating a lack of fellowship, but I am indicating that walking with people is far more important than starting or maintaining a group. We’d like to think they are the same but they are not. History proves that.
So the Scriptures you cite are all lived out in greater reality, depth and power when we’re not caught up in the mechanics of a group and simple walk in deep friendship and love with whomever God puts in our life. Sometimes that puts me in a room with hundreds of people, sometimes just tow or three.
Jesus, nor the early apostles did not view the life of the church as a series of meetings on Sunday morning or Wednesday night that are led from the front, but vibrant relationships that wrestle with the deep issues of life and magnify God in doing so!
And it doesn’t bother me of people want to get together at a regular place in a regular way. That’s an expression of this family too! It just isn’t the only expression and not necessarily the best. Scripture never points to believers gathered in rows to witness a meeting led by a few. It pictures people meeting together to share insights and ask questions, to share Jesus’ gifts, to build each other up and to share the burdens of life together.