Most people are classified as one of these two distinct personality types:
- The person who believes that they can do everything on their own without any help from others.
- The person who believes in communal problem solving.
Fellowship (establishing a sense of community) is easy for the second person but can be a huge challenge for the other personality type.
God created everyone, no matter your personality type, to be in community. Fellowship is how we build each other up to become stronger Christians.
In his book The Spirit of the Disciplines Dallas Willard says it best, “The fire of God kindles higher as the brands are heaped together and each is warmed by the other’s flame.” Mentally picture yourself and a few friends holding candles spread across a football field. While each one of you has some light, it’s not enough for you to individually see everything around you. Now, imagine the light’s brightness if you and your friends were all to come on the 50-yard line to put your candles together. Fellowship helps make God’s fire shine brighter so that everyone can see His majesty in a more brilliant light.
Fellowship brings people together to enjoy common worship, study, prayer and celebration experiences. When you get together with other people, you bring your own spiritual gifts to help brighten Christ’s light. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may use it for the common good.” Everyone has different gifts given by God. When you come together with other Christians, you experience the various gifts you wouldn’t naturally receive on your own.
Personal Challenge: Building Community
If building community is easy for you, your challenge is to dig deeper within your community. Now that you’re settled into your school routine, try putting together a Bible study with some of your friends. Watch Christ strengthen your group as well as each individual’s faith. God does amazing things through the love and support of a group of friends. If a Bible study is too much to take on, put together a prayer group or establish an accountability partner. In order to fully benefit and build fellowship, you must include God. Make sure your intention of making Him the main focus is clear. Otherwise, you’re just getting together to socialize, and you’ll miss the benefits and opportunities of intentional fellowship.
If you have a hard time communicating or connecting with other people, forming a bible study or prayer group might be too intimidating right now. Fellowship is a healthy way to express yourself and doesn’t have to be a grand act. You don’t need to talk a lot to be in fellowship. Try connecting with a close friend at least once per week to catch up on what God is doing in your life. Offer support by just listening to her problems or providing encouragement. Also, consider participating in an arts class. Sometimes just expressing yourself beside someone can provide you with what you need to make it through the day.
Don’t Walk Alone
No matter the task, try to put God into it, whether it’s fishing, basketball or drawing. Place God as central in all activities and fellowship will naturally form.
The Christian walk can’t be taken alone. Spending time alone with God is a great way to strengthen your relationship with Him, but your whole faith shouldn’t be built on what you learn on your own. You were created to connect with others. To go it alone is to go against God’s plan for your life. You need fellowship to help sustain your walk with Christ.