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FELLOWSHIP Group Therapy
Abandonment & Filling the Void
Consider the Good Samaritan who went out of his way to comfort another in dire straits. God doesn’t throw anyone away and He made a promise never to leave the believer. Christ himself was spoken of as being a rejected stone (Is 8:14) but was really precious (Is. 28:16) and indispensible. Yet many feel abandoned and rejected in the churches where we attend. A flow of issues contrary to Christian actions from leadership may instigate abandonment and rejection from leadership that cannot be denied and is often dismissed. This creates a vacuum (void) that craves justice and healing (wholeness).
No Ship like Fellowship
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a saying that can be traced back to Plato who may have picked it up from Kemet, or some other source. Who knows? Yet, necessity in and of itself, fuels the need to have something to satisfy some need. Quenching the need of others is a central theme in Christianity, as far as the Church is the body of Christ, as Christians we are all members of the same body and therefore of one another. For the believer fellowship is not only to be practiced at church gatherings but in every aspect of our daily lives. First Century Christians “had all things in common” (Acts 2:44), especially after having the new human experience of the indwelling of God by receiving The Holy Ghost. Simultaneously, they were finding out that there was no ship like fellowship.
The book of Hebrews says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).
What happens when the body is sick?
Is the member cut off, excommunicated and accursed? Though provisions for these instances are provided in scripture pertaining to infidels, the first rule of thumb in Christianity is to love your neighbor as yourself, ever esteeming those in the Body of Christ; for we are one spiritual entity, linked together by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. So when a member is sick, others naturally should rush to the rescue; like an ache that immediately rushes signals in your central nervous system when there is a pain. When our brothers and sisters are in pieces, they should not be ignored. To do so requires (negative) energy. It’s like ignoring a pulsating head ache or a broken limb, to disregard a brother or sister in need is not the way of God.
Beauty from Ashes
Sustainable leaders are made firm before they can carry a message of hope. Many times the things of God must be inclusive to preserve their potential. A leader is strengthened to withstand criticism and pressure from a burden that God gives. After one’s most holy faith is built, a progressive revelation (ministry) must be provided to others in need.
Little to No Honor at Home
Sensing their animosity, Jesus perceived the thoughts of those in his hometown (Nazareth) that opposed Him.
“And he said unto them, ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country” (Luke 4:23).
Many among seasoned saints may arise and say something similar, instead of providing a helpful hand or understanding heart. The consensus usually thinks that there is no excuse for a seasoned saint to trip they say, “Physician heal thy self.”
The fellowship that we so affectionately call the group originally was to comprise of couples who fellowshipped outside of the four walls of a church. This group became a necessity as a growing demand for understanding and healing needed to take place in a local church. With a goal of making peace, from pieces of the brooding animosity that followed situations that existed. A strong desire arose to heal individuals and by extension marriages of the damages that occurred. This became the group’s focal point with the goal to make married couples unified and to give the opportunity for those to become whole who were frequently rejected, ridiculed and disrespected by leadership. By sharing common experiences in the love of Christ, hope is provided for the individual couples and families within the context of the local church. After a void that craves to be filled was created, a ministry was directed as a one on one tool directed toward us and our friends in the ministry.
When is it time to find another church?
Scorned in Church
The Church of Jesus Christ is one church with one agenda.
The local Pastor is a Steward of the Church founded by Christ. They are called by God to lead people and given a right to flourish in the presence of an enemy. Nevertheless, in the midst of leading God’s people, disagreements arise that can’t be resolved among those in one congregation. At the base of these dissentions among well meaning individuals is a need for one faction to remain progressively upon the same path, but others are given to move in another direction. Moving out is as a natural progression as separation takes place that multiplication can occur.
Becoming scorned in church is a reality that is also a very unpopular subject.
Optimization despite division
Fruit comes as a by-product after accepting Christ. Great men of God followed God’s plan for their lives having in mind the goal of Fruit Optimization. Paul and Barnabus split as did COGIC founders: C. H. Mason and C. P. Jones [Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Founders]. Yet, both Paul and Mason were used by God to launch movements that baptized millions. it is the job of a Christian to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit (singular, having many facets). Our lives is an expression of God's handiwork. In the meantime other observe how we are continually gaining higher heights and deeper depths in Christ offering the good produce of God in a sin driven world.
Joined at birth separated by God
Righteousness Draws Criticism
Many times congregants are offended when they do not agree with the Pastor’s vision and timing upon which decisions are made. Becoming critical of the vision implemented by church leaders is dangerous. Jesus came with superlative credentials being from the lineage of David. Yet, He preached the Kingdom of God being accessible by Faith by the Grace of God. This doctrine directly opposed Judaic religious leaders. Ultimately, His work upon the earth cost him his life at the hands of the Roman government by the urgency of Jewish religious leaders. He was in the minority amongst the people but He was right.
"Blesseth are they, which persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mathew 5:10).
Respect your Elders
Elders are encouraged when they are shown respect, honor and dignity. Also when young people pay attention to their elders they are treating them with honor and dignity. Further respect is shown by attending events sponsored by elders, conforming to assembly protocol and staying until the benediction while in the presence of an elder. By attending to the ones that watch over our souls and them that are given the reigns of ministries we are honoring God. Consequently, there is an exchange that takes place when one shows respect to their elders and principles become firmly established.
Smitten but not destroyed
The man who cares for his bride as Jesus cared for the Church shall be honored. Since the beginning God affirmed "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18). In comparison this remains true for Christ. As Adam slept and awoke to Eve. Jesus laid down His life and birthed the Church. The Church has been in peril every since, but will never be destroyed. Smitten but not destroyed, diminished but not deleted, because of the Church's role in God's plan for man; let us take heed to God given leaders: those who have the heartbeat of God.
Comrades, Confidants & Constituents
The Infinite: Holy Ghost Defined
Exhort and Entreat
This word exhort is also translated from the Greek word “parakaleo (3870) to call near, i.e. entreat, invite, invoke, beseech, call for, comfort, desire (give) exhort (-ation), pray for and encourage.” Exhort and entreat are interchangeable words that both translate from the verb Parakaleo.
Preceding His physical departure upon the earth Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “I am with you always even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). Christ reminded His followers assuring them that he’ll be with them in spirit. His physical return would be at the end of this Church-age, when Christ shall receive His Church, in the clouds in the air, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 5:15). Those who have an ear to hear and receive the words of God shall overcome. God's relationship towards man changes, yet God never changes. Since the days of Abel, God's hand has been outstretched to man. Christ's promise of the Comforter is man's hope before we die and go back to God.
Church Attendance and Avoidance
Type of Church Goer
people with no personal interaction with a regularly-convened faith community, but uses religious media
"under-churched" went to church during the year but not the last month
adults who had attended both a conventional church and a house church during the past month
people who had attended a conventional church during the past month but had not attended a house church
people who had attended a meeting of a house church during the last month but not a conventional one
© 2013 Reginald Boswell