In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

FELLOWSHIP: Engaging with other disciples in the common activities of worship study, prayer, celebration, and service, which sustain our life together and enlarge our capacity to experience more of God. ~ The Life With God Bible

The whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. ~ Ephesians 4:15-16

Usually when we think of fellowship a social gathering comes to mind. But it’s more than a cup of coffee and small talk with a friend. Fellowship is the united body of Christian believers working together to grow spiritually as individuals, mentor each other in discipleship and share the gospel with a lost world.

Fellowship: koinoonia: communion, commonalities, participation, friendship

Naturally as fellow believers in Christ, we fellowship because we have many things in common: the same faith in God through Christ and we can converse about the same subjects of prayer and Scripture. Fellowship is not only a state of being or identity with Christ. Fellowship is also an activity: such as assembling together for the shared purpose of study and worship.

Fellowship for Spiritual Growth

Fellowship provides a solid foundation for our spiritual growth. Contact with fellow believers shapes us; sometimes with sparks flying like an axe being sharpened, other times a gentle polishing to a smooth shine. Whichever the case, fellowship strongly influences our spiritual foundation and should be used to the full.

Ideas for Spiritual Growth Fellowship In Person or Virtual

      1. Join a small group in your church.
      2. Find a prayer partner and meet regular to pray.
      3. Lead a Bible study in a local retirement home.
      4. Start an online Bible Study or Small Group.

Fellowship for Discipleship

We become like those we spend time with. So if we want to grow stronger and mature in our faith, we need to spend time with those further along the spiritual journey than we are. As we continue to grow and mature we in turn can reach out to those new in the faith and mentor them as well.

Ideas for Discipleship Fellowship In Person or Virtual:

      1. Find a mentor, spiritual director or friend who models their faith.
      2. Meet regularly for spiritual growth and accountability.
      3. Find a friend or neighbor seeking guidance that you can share.
      4. Invite neighbors to an online worship service watch party.

Fellowship for Evangelization

Before becoming a Christian most of us had no problem spending time with strangers. The Church today is lacking in social activities that would draw in the unchurched of our world. We as individuals need to create ways to reach the people in our circle of influence: neighborhood, public transportation, maybe even a fellow coworker.

Ideas for Evangelism Fellowship In Person or Virtual:

        1. Pray for God to open doors and boldly walk through them.
        2. Create a list of folks to pray for regularly.
        3. Find ways to reach out to lost friends.
        4. Record your testimony and share it on social media.

For some of us fellowship isn’t always as easy as 1, 2, 3. Many of us are introverts and prefer to not be in the spotlight. However, Jesus commanded us to follow him and share His good news.

Sadly, with this season of Covid-19, fellowship has taken a back seat in most churches. And we are all suffering for it. Above are a few suggestions to help find or create some fellowship opportunities  in person or virtually if you are high risk.

I encourage you to look over the list of ideas and find one or two that can work for you. Take a leap of faith. God will meet you there and give you what you need to be successful in fellowship whether it be for spiritual growth, discipleship or sharing the gospel. You will definitely be blessed as you do!

Enjoy one of my favorite songs by Hillsong United. Here Now sings of the ultimate experience of fellowship available to us as believers… Fellowship with God!

 Today we bring this series to a close. If you’ve missed any of the columns this year, please check out the previous articles here: The Spiritual Disciplines Series. I hope this series has been a blessing to you like it has been for me.