SPENDING TIME WITH
OTHER CHRISTIANS

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 we’re not alone -- whether we’re 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 it’s 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?

We’re instructed to. Hebrews 10.25 tells us to assemble with other believers.

We are all a part of God’s 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 shouldn’t do, or entertaining ideas that can hurt us spiritually. Good Christian friends will warn us when they see these things, but if we don’t have these friends, we won’t 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 it’s 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.

TRUTH

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 involved.

LOVE

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 "home".

NEXT: Spending Time Learning From Other Christians
 
 

Join a small group or Bible study. One of the best ways to make sure you're participating in regular fellowship is to join a bible study or small group through a church or ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. Schmidt © 2005