Archive for the ‘fellowship’ Category


“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25 ESV).

We should go to church because we need it, but also because our brothers and sisters in Christ need it, too. Yes, we gather together to worship the Triune God. No, it isn’t a solitary endeavor, however. We “stir up one another to love and good works,” and encourage each other by our attendance and involvement. They need us and we need them.

When you go to church, greet people warmly and with a smile. You may be the only person who’s greeted them that way all week.

When you sing (even if it’s a song you don’t like), sing it anyway. You may encourage someone who wonders if it’s possible to praise God in their circumstances.

When you sing a song you like, sing it fervently. You may motivate someone near you to sing with all of their heart.

When you pray along with someone else, say “amen” so it can be heard. You may strengthen the faith of someone who isn’t sure if God answers prayer.

When you listen to a sermon, pay careful attention with an open Bible on your lap. You may encourage someone who read and study  God’s Word every chance they got but has slacked off lately.

When you talk to people, show genuine interest in them and ask them how they’re doing.  You may encourage them to do the same.

You never know the impact and influence of simple acts simple acts during a worship service. You need the church and the church needs you.

(This post was inspired by a series of tweets written by Garrett Kell.)


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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Mitch Lamotte preach on 1 John 1:1-10.  Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Faith in Jesus Christ produces fellowship with God and forgiveness from sin.

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on Philippians 1:7-8. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: True Christian fellowship is a combination of devotion to, delight in, and desire for each other.


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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on 1 Peter 5:12-14. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Even in persecution, we’re to stand firm in and by God’s grace, which can only happen as we stand together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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What are we telling people when we take them a meal? The Responsible Father blog’s piece called “Seven Messages in Meals” explores that question. Taking meals to those who are sick or bereaved is a simple yet very meaningful act. It’s a demonstration of God’s love and concern. You can read the post here.

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When we come to church on Sunday mornings, how can we give more and get more from it? Should we simply come and sit or come and serve? The answer should be obvious. Michael McKinley of 9Marks recently posted some helpful comments from Colin Marshall on the subject.

Before the service

  • Read the passage in advance.
  • Pray for the gathering
  • Greet newcomers (act like you’re the host)
  • Think strategically about who you should sit with
  • Arrive early

During the service

  • Sing with gusto (even if you can’t sing)
  • Help with logistics (if there’s a problem, help fix it)
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Listen carefully
  • Be aware of your facial expressions (you may affect others and discourage preachers)

After the service

  • Connect newcomers with others
  • Get newcomers information
  • Start a conversation about the sermon
  • Ask someone how they became a Christian
  • Stay late

These are all excellent practical suggestions about how our time at church can be made more meaningful. We come to worship our Lord, but we also come to serve one another.

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Some time ago, I was asked, “How can I grow closer to God?” My answer involved presenting a simple analogy.

The human body needs nourishment, air, and exercise to be balanced as it grows and thrives.  What’s true physically is also true spiritually – we need the same things to grow and thrive in a balanced way as Christians.

We need nourishment to grow closer to God. The greatest source of nourishment is the Bible – the Word of God. 1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” We have to have regular intake of God’s Word if we would grow spiritually and draw closer to God.

We need air – our bodies need air and so do our souls. The air our souls need is prayer. We need to breathe constantly (if we don’t we die), and according to the apostle Paul we need to pray constantly. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, he tells Christians to “pray without ceasing.” Prayer not only rhymes with air, but it’s just as necessary for us to grow near to God.

Just as our bodies need exercise, so do our souls. If we don’t exercise, we become flabby and weak – physically and spiritually. Spiritual exercise means to put into practice what we know, and the best way to do that is through regular attendance at church and fellowship with other Christians. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Worshipping, serving, giving, celebrating the sacraments, and living life together in a community of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ is what’s involved in exercise.

All three are needed for a balanced physical and spiritual life. If we have only one, or even two, we won’t grow and we’ll be unbalanced.

How can we grow closer to God? Nourishment, air, and exercise.

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