In the same way that we need to
spend time with God in order to grow, we need to spend time with
other Christians. By spending time with other Christians, we become
encouraged in our faith and realize that were not alone --
whether were facing struggles or experiencing joys. We also
need other Christians around us to keep us in line and
help us see where we need to grow and what behavior or ideas we
have that might be damaging to our faith.
There are two main ways we need to spend time with
other Christians: through time in Fellowship and time Learning.
TIME IN FELLOWSHIP
WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?
Fellowship is spending time with other Christians,
not just in social interaction, but spiritual interaction. Whether
its through a close friendship, church, small groups, or whatever
else, we all need to be close to other Christians who will encourage
us in the faith and help keep us accountable.
WHY ENGAGE IN FELLOWSHIP?
Were instructed to. Hebrews 10.25 tells
us to assemble with other believers.
We are all a part of Gods family we
are the body of Christ. Romans 12.5 and Ephesians 2.19 talk
about how we all need each other in order to function properly.
We all need encouragement, especially during difficult
times in our walk. Read Hebrews 10.24.
Fellowship provides accountability. When we
decide to live the Christian life on our own, we easily open the
door to doing things we shouldnt do, or entertaining ideas
that can hurt us spiritually. Good Christian friends will warn us
when they see these things, but if we dont have these friends,
we wont hear the warning.
To get away from the negative influence of the
world. Spending time with other believers help us refocus. Our
friends will affect you, whether positively or negatively. Choosing
to spend time with Christians and limiting time with friends that
distract us or are negative influences is a sign that God is working
in us and that we are willing to surrender. The Bible tells us its
not bad to break off bad friendships, even though it may be difficult
and we might feel mean or disloyal.
We need the opportunity to share struggles and
joys. We need friends, and Christian friends are more likely
to identify with the spiritual struggles and joys we experience.
HOW DO I FIND A GOOD CHURCH?
With so many churches and denominations out there,
it can be hard to know how to find the right one. No church is perfect,
but two characteristics -- truth and love -- are necessary if a
church is going to help you grow in your relationship with God.
It is important that the church you attend is rooted
in the truth God has given us in His Word, the Bible. Does the church
recognize it as the ultimate authority in knowing who God is and
what He wants for our lives? Is the Bible used in worship services?
Does the time in worship and prayer reflect who God is? Do you have
opportunity to learn more about the Bible? Are people maturing and
growing in their faith? Do people in the church live in a way that
is pleasing to God? God's Word must be the foundation of any ministry
that is commited to the healthy spiritual growth of those who are
Truth must be balanced with love. A church that exhibits
love for those within the church, the community and throughout the
world demonstrates that God's truth is a part of their lives. Is
there unity in the church? Do people serve and care for each other?
Does the church "get along" with other churches in the
community? Are people there involved in the ministry of the church?
Is the church concerned for the spiritual needs of the world around
them? Love for others is what demonstrates that we truly belong
to God (John 13:34-35).
Once you have determined that the church you're looking
into exhibits both truth and love, the rest is a matter of preference.
Some people like quiet, traditional church services, others like
modern music and a relaxed setting. Some like big churches, some
like small ones. The list goes on and on. Even though it initially
causes us like or not like a church, the "style" of a
church is one of the last things to consider.
As you are making the decision of where to go to church,
remember to ask God to help you select the right one. He will gladly
provide wisdom and discernment as you choose which church to call
Time Learning From Other Christians