Have you ever thought about how important fellowship with other people is? God said in the book of Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He created animals for Adam, and took them to Adam to name. Though pets have a special place in our hearts, they can’t offer advice, encouragement, and fellowship like people can.
My husband and I enjoy fellowship with others very much. However, when we moved across our state eight years ago, very little fellowship took place in our new setting. Though we enjoy our biological families very much, they all live their hurried lives some distance from us, and as a result, rarely do we hear from or see them. When we can, we travel to their homes to visit, but seldom do they come to our home. We have wonderful neighbors, and we make a point to visit with them during good weather months. Since they are elderly, we usually go to their homes to catch up on their well-being and what’s going on in their lives. Though we love our new church family, there is only a short time on Sundays to visit between Sunday School and church service. Most conversations are superficial during that time.
When you move somewhere new, you are an “outcast” in many ways. Groups of people in the community habitually attend activities they enjoy together. These groups formed years before we arrived, so even though people unintentionally snub others, or leave newcomers out, it happens, nonetheless. Because of the need to fellowship and develop close relationships, new community members feel lonely, and even depressed.
To combat some of that loneliness, my husband and I started several home ministries. For one ministry, we open our home to weekly Bible Studies. The blessings are rich, and relationships develop as we dig into scripture together, and discuss our needs to grow spiritually in various areas. Now each week when we see these people at church, our bonds are tighter and more authentic.
For another ministry, we invite guests to our home once or twice a month for supper. Many attend church with us, and some we know from work, and others are our neighbors. We invite 2-3 couples for supper on Saturdays, and we provide the meal – usually a simple one. We find if we ask more than six people at a time, less conversation takes place between our guests and us. Shy personalities hesitate to talk with a larger group.
The purpose of these gatherings is to increase knowledge of one another – backgrounds, where they grew up, how they met their spouse, their passions and interests, and their occupations. It’s important to ask about their lives, so the listeners hear information that interests them, and they can then identify their own connections with these people. Owen and I find our fellowship with others increases greatly through these ministries. Everyone needs to be heard – really heard, supported, valued, appreciated, and connected to other people.
On a similar note, God seeks fellowship with us daily. He waits for us to talk with Him through reading His Word, praying to Him, and thanking Him for the gifts and blessings He gives us every day. No wonder God knew His created beings needed fellowship. He desires it Himself!
Do you suffer from a lack of fellowship with other people? What steps can you take to meet this need? Do you spend time with the Lord? How often? He waits for you every day. Feel free to comment about your thoughts on fellowship, and what you do to deal with it personally. As always, thank you sincerely for reading my post, and visiting my website.