Summary: God wants to add to your fellowship, family and church the following areas: A greater sense of SIGNIFICANCE, STIMULATION, SUPPORT, STABILITY, SELF-EXPRESSIVE CONFIDENCE, SATISFACTION, SPIRITUAL DEPTH.
Qualities of a Caring Fellowship
As we have opportunity, let us do good to all. --Galatians 6:10
A rainbow is a sign of God’s promise never again to destroy the earth by a flood (Gen. 9:11-17). But that was little comfort to the people of Grand Forks, North Dakota, in April of 1997. Eight blizzards, an ice storm, spring rains, and an early thaw had relocated their comfortable homes, schools, stores, and churches into a world of water.
Hal Olsen, the disaster relief coordinator for International Aid, immediately arranged to "flood" the area with eight truckloads of life-sustaining supplies and gospel tracts. They were distributed by churches in the region.
One man was deeply affected by this help. He had been very hostile to a church across the street from his house and had even tried to block it from being built in his neighborhood. But when he saw how that church responded to people in need, he said tearfully, "Now I’ve seen the church outside its walls."
Christians must not be content to stay within the walls of their church. Yes, we all need the encouragement, fellowship, and help from our brothers and sisters in the Lord (Gal. 6:2). But we also need to extend the love of Christ in word and deed outside the walls--to all people (v.10). Is your church doing that? Are you? --DJD (Our Daily Bread)
Love demands your loving deeds;
Look upon your brothers’ needs,
Tell them that you love them true,
Prove it by the deeds you do. --Anon.
A world in despair needs churches that care.
God wants to add to your fellowship, family and church the following areas:
1. A greater sense of SIGNIFICANCE, STIMULATION, SUPPORT, STABILITY, SELF-EXPRESSIVE CONFIDENCE, SATISFACTION, SPIRITUAL DEPTH. Jesus said, "He who believes in Me the works that I do will He do also and greater works than these will he do because I go to the Father and you will ask anything according to my will and it will be granted to you." (John 14:12)
The following are key components of a caring fellowship:
1. PRAYERFULLY CARING - A fellowship that cares shows it best when they prayerfully intercede for the needs of others as well as their own. The early church shared their burdens and problems a consistent basis to build up one another but also to pray for the needs of the those in their neighborhoods. When we did this in Nigeria, we saw God answer prayer for many Muslims, pagans and nominal Christians. As a result we were able to help start more than 650 house-cell fellowships that provided a light and salt witness throughout the community in ways previously never touched in such personal ways by the power of God.
2. WORSHIPFULLY CARING - Every human being has a deep need to worship the Lord. Augustine said, "You have made us for yourself Oh God and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." When we took our music teams to all parts of Nigeria, many thousands turned out to celebrate the Lord’s goodness in song and soon got saved.
3. FELLOWSHIPPING WITH LOVE - It is difficult to go to a fellowship where there is tension, strife and a critical spirit. Thank God that the early church fostered an atmosphere of koinonia that realized that freely they had received therefore they were to freely give. People do not care how much Christians know until they know how much believers care.
4. DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES - Fellowships that care have ministries of disciple-making that admonish and teach people with all wisdom so that they can be complete in Christ and not settle for superficial spirituality. The early church was not only planted by Paul but also nurtured to maturity by Paul who wrote, "But speaking the truth in love let us grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ." (Eph. 4:15)
5. SERVICE MINISTRIES - We live in a world where people have many physical, emotional and personal needs. Fellowships that offer practical services to people will always grow. Give and it will be given to you, good measure, press down, shaken together and running over into your laps. (Luke 6:36) Churches that serve their communities as with the distribution of goods and services as in the above example in North Dakota opened the eyes of many skeptics.
6. OUTREACH MINISTRIES - Many people do not know about the blessings of a personal faith based relationship with Christ because they have not been challenged to have one. Personal outreach ministries can take on many forms. Perhaps the most significant one is for people to ask the Lord to give them daily opportunities to share a tract, the gospel or a kind word to someone at the filing station where Christ can be shared through a gospel presentation. Ask the Lord to give your fellowship a means where they reach out to give the power of God through salvation’s message on a regular basis and watch how the Lord will multiply and bless your group. He blessed us so that we could be a blessing and see us multiply as He promised Abraham and those who share the gospel (Gal. 3:8,9)