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Do You Have Fellowship Or Just Meetings?

February 26, 2013

Greetings,

“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”          1 John 1: 5-7

“Fellowship with one another” is vitally important for every follower of Jesus.  Yet, true fellowship rarely occurs when a traditional “church” meets.  “Fellowship”, as used in this text, means deep, intimate relationship and social intercourse.  It speaks of rich participation and total partnership.

Truth be told, nearly 100% of most “church services”  allow for very little partnership or participation and what they do allow for is rarely relational or intimate.  In fact more fellowship happens when exchanging pleasantries and hand shakes on the way in and out of the building than within the actual service times.  It is very sad, but the Pastor’s encouragement to “greet your neighbor” is usually the deepest and relational as it gets.

The rest of the time in the “service” is normally spent sitting in rows, staring at the back of someone’s head while you listen to the Pastor’s monologue.  That my friends is NOT fellowship.  It is not interactive or participatory and it does nothing to build real relationships in the Body of Christ.

In authentic fellowship everyone participates and shares the deepest of things that they have on their hearts.  Real fellowship allows for the open exchange of thoughts and ideas that pertain to Jesus and all things church.  When we truly gather in His name we all get to share our burdens, struggles, victories and successes with one another.  Without that type of open and intimate sharing it never really becomes fellowship and all it really ends up being is another shallow meeting of some folks that really needed to hear from the Christ in each other, but were denied access to that due to the traditional way that they meet.

True Church is all about relationship, with HIM and one another.  It is about deep friendship that goes well beyond just sharing a pew, row of chairs or a handshake.  In true fellowship everyone gets to share what is going on in their hearts.  It is about relationships that go deeper than just being mere friends or family.  Is your fellowship like that or does it lack true love and intimacy?  If we are really walking in the light we will have rich fellowship like I have described here.  It is not an option.  It is a need that all of us have in order to be fully whole, complete and mature in Christ.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

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19 Comments
  1. Ravs permalink

    So how do you recommend that a reach out session be enabled in a normal Pastor preaching and people listening service, unless it is a bible study question and answer session. On Sundays theres just enough time to get in on time and do the few handshakes and rush off for lunch, cant see a way out of it!

  2. As an ex senior pastor for many, many years I’ll support you on this! How did we miss it?

    Greetings,

    Erroll.

  3. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Great question errollmulder!

    Ravs, your question is vital as well. After leaving the traditional “church” system, and studying scripture in context, I finally had to come to the realization that the “church system” wasn’t broke afterall! Instead, I had to count all my past religious training as dung, like Paul, and accept the fact that the “church system” was another’s system, and not the true fellowship of Christ Jesus’ Ekklesia.

    The battle in life is NOT between good and evil, but rather what’s good and what’s God! Satan and his ministers seem good as they counterfiet God’s will. But their light is darkness. Further when we are blind to the Truth, we follow blind guides and blind leaders of the blind as the blind men we are!
    When Christ first made us alive to His Truth, we fellowshipped with Him. Soon though we made the mistake of seeking fellowship with like minded folk, neither being lead to them, nor seeking His Fellowship in the process. Thus by mistake we chose either the fellowship of fellow men over fellowship with God, like Adam, or we chose to be like God and Eve knowing good and evil, and set ourselves up to lord over our fellow men which becomes the deeds of the Nicolaitans…which things He HATES! So we must return to our First Love, sitting at His feet, like Mary, and not worrying about the many things, like Martha. For it is there at His feet where we can sit as brothers and sisters as we learn of Him, His Way. And it is there we find true fellowship with the saints and only elect of God. We are then the flock, and He the One True Shepherd. After much sitting and learning of Him, from Him can we as elders function as guides for the youngers in the faith.

    • "BK" permalink

      That’s my experience also. I used to fervently pray for God to heal and set free ‘His church’. One day as I prayed He STERNLY said, “Stopp calling that My church. It’s NOT My church. I’m not going to heal it, I’m going to call My people out and destroy it.”
      Set me back on my heels for sure; but I found it to be true. It took some time to wash me and my concepts, but it has been a worth while journey for sure. How does a ‘reach out session get incorporated in the ‘normal’ Pastor preaching, people listening service? It doesn’t. Alot because it’s FELLOWSHIP, not ‘a session’; it’s a flow of Spirit among the Body, not a ‘service’ ‘set aside’ for God. How did we miss it? For 2,000 or so years we were told this is how “Christianity” does it. Sigh, Chrisianity might, but not Christ. Just my musings from work…”BK”

  4. Mickey Merrie permalink

    …And perhaps in light of my comments above, we can look to errolmulder as a man set free to be the undershepherd God called him to be, even as he sits with us in the unity of the Holy Spirit as a brother and fellow elder in the faith. One body, many parts/callings/giftings in one accord with Christ Jesus the only Head and Corner Stone. We being built up upon the Apostles as the foundation of His Ekklesia.

    Errolmulder this transformation for you must be like a millstone being removed from around your neck?!?!

    Christ in/through me/we the hope of glory!

    • Mickey, without any exaggeration, the last years of my life (and that of my wife and extended family) have been like ‘a bird let out of the cage’ to soar with Jesus and new-found friends and fellow-followers. Why, just last evening I witnessed 5 new converts (young men), thoroughly taught concerning the gospel and baptism, confessing their faith with exhuberant joy in the waves of Brighton beach nearby… Wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

      Thanks for your gracious encouragements,

      Erroll.

  5. Mickey, I am not even comfortable with the term “undershepherd”. The highest most noble calling any of us ever receive is that of a true brother or sister in the faith. At least that is what I beleive and live. You also capitalized “apostle” as if it was a title or office. The only true foundation of the Church is Jesus alone. I am thankful for Errol, Tim, and everyone else who participates on this blog. I do not have all the answers and I only share as HE leads me. My sincere hope is that everyone would be set free from religion and all the other traditions of men. I am a simple man and I hope that my life will be continue to be used by Him to help others along the way. When we meet as true peers in the faith iron can truly sharpen iron and we all can receive His blessing. We all use different verbage, but I hope we all are simply speaking the truth in love to one another.

    • Kirk, I am your ‘brother’ and also Mickey’s.

      Personally, for the sake of my break with the institutional church AND commitment to servanthood going forward, though I may have pastor-teacher giftings in terms of Eph. 4, I have deliberately discouraged people referring to me as ‘Pastor’ right from the start. It is a term which, in the Western Church and even here in South Africa, just carries too much baggage: i.e. the idea of office, superiority, special authority, etc. You guyz are familiar with all this, I am sure…

      The essence, for me, is ministry according to the priesthood of all believers, gifting AND character, in a spirit of grace.

      Bless you both!

      Erroll.

  6. Mickey Merrie permalink

    These are in reference to the original 12 Apostles that His Word says are the foundation of His Ekklesia…He chose them as such. Undershepherd is the picture of the pastoral calling (not offices as my earlier comments I think speak clearly to) Again I refer to His Word, dealing with the “some till we all” scripture reference. Some to be apostles, prophets, teachers, ministers, evangelists…Not offices but giftings and functions. With regards to only 12 chosen out of many disciples, He set them apart and they will, according to scripture judge the 12 tribes.
    Here are the references:

    http://bible.cc/matthew/19-28.htm
    http://bible.cc/ephesians/4-11.htm
    http://bible.cc/ephesians/4-12.htm
    http://bible.cc/ephesians/2-20.htm

    Chris, to the extent you are uncomfortable with these passages from His Word, I really don’t know what to say to make you more comfortable. These are His Words and His giftings to His Ekklesia!

  7. Mickey Merrie permalink

    http://bibleapps.com/luke/6-13.htm Also this reference! 🙂

  8. Mickey, I am not uncomfortable with those passages, but with the extra emphasis that some place on them.

  9. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Love you brother! Here is another reference you might like!
    http://www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html

  10. Rav, you asked: “So how do you recommend that a reach out session be enabled in a normal Pastor preaching and people listening service,” The problem is that Pastor preaching and people listening should not be normal in the Church that Jesus calls us all to. Getting Christ followers to see that abomination as normal is one of satan’s biggest tricks. It is time to break free from the traditions of men and follow Jesus instead.

  11. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Oh on that I agree completely. Functions and giftings YES and so be it… offices NEVER in His Ekklesia where He alone is head! I am not called to be an undershepherd, mine is more along the lines of teacher and watchman with prophetic leanings. The watchman and prophetic giftings are always Him through me (as is the teaching) neither of the first two make a lot of friends and would not be my choice! LOL Discernment is in my mix as well.
    Michael F. is evangelist and teacher as I see him in his giftings, and you Chris undershepherd/minister…you have the compassion and heart!(so suck it up LOL)

    All that being said, they are functions/giftings of Christ in and through us, so I am not even comfortable with the labels thanks to those falsly claiming them within the system. As always it is the He in me, and not me. Jesus plus me is a hinderance to Him.

  12. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Folks reading these comments would not at first glance understand that a lot of these comments are really weary and wary saints being brought together in fellowship by our Lord, and getting to know and understand one another outside the camp, where the Lord is and is establishing His Bethany place, as we seek to sit whith Him as Lord.
    The system, being (not broken) but the deception of another has scattered His sheep, yet we will, in no way follow another, being His sheep!

  13. Mickey Merrie permalink

    @errollmolder
    Exactly brother!
    Giftings aren’t titles nor offices. When the Ekklesia gather, the elders function in their giftings to serve the body, and discipling the youngers.

    The old guys at the rifle range for example, may be affectionately called pops or gramps, as they help the newby’s sight in their hunting rifles, because they serve out of their love for the sport and the sportsmen, and function as the teachers due to their vast experience and knowlege from years of “gunny” experience. They neither seek title nor office sut simply to serve their brethren.

    • "BK" permalink

      http://bible.cc/ephesians/4-11.htm
      http://bible.cc/ephesians/4-12.htm
      http://bible.cc/ephesians/2-20.htm

      The scriptures in Eph. 4:11-12 are preceded by saying ‘unto every one of us’, not just a few good men (pun intended:) There was no punctuation in the Greek so the translators put in some, apostles, instead of some apostles. May seem small, but it really does change the flow and meaning of the sentence. The ‘gifts’ are to the ‘all’ and are present flowing through whichever one He chooses. I Cor 12 says, ‘severally as He will.’ When He flows as a teacher, I teach; when He plants, I plant (ie apostle); when He shepherds, I pastor, etc. I’ve heard the personality designations over the years but with no offense intended, it just appears to appease those who find themselves more gruff to be ‘prophetical’. I have also seen a 10 year old with the Spirit flowing through him to teach better than any ‘seasoned’ teacher I’d ever heard.

      Erroll, again my experience seems to match yours as far as the baggage that comes with those titles. It’s good to hear a voice from another culture in this. Your portion on the table adds a great flavor! “BK”

  14. Mickey Merrie permalink

    BK
    Thanks for clarifying that it is whatever He wants to do through us that becomes the function. You did a much better job of painting the picture then I did.

    My point regarding Mike F. Chris and I had to do with our recently meeting together, and the functions we are being used in this current season. These functions as you well know run in seasons and can be of short to long duration. The exception though is there for those He used in the prophetic, for example, see the Old Test. prophets.

    Again I am in no way relating this to the error rampant within the system today along with the titles offices and lording the system depends upon.

    I appreciate the flavor both you and Erroll bring to the table as well and am in agreement with both of your comments

    Thanks again!

    Mickey

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