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Fellowship Reimagined


Fellowship Reimagined

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
This is a familiar passage to many of us and what we typically think of when we think about being the Church. At first glance you may think a lot of these things are activities we can't do right now because of the quarantine. It may make you miss something we took for granted like gathering at the church building, hugging your brother/sister in Christ, simply passing a communion try to someone on the pew, hearing hundreds of voices praising God together.

But I actually have seen our church live these verses out more during this time. It definitely looks very different today than it did in the first century church or even three weeks ago. I have witnessed our church family being more devoted to one another during this time. As a minister I am more devoted to staying in contact daily with all the people in my ministry. We may be fellowshipping through Facebook, Text, Voxer, Marco Polo or even an email. But I have witnessed our church family daily in fellowship together, checking on each other and supporting each other through this crazy quarantine process.

Over the past several weeks our church family has helped each other with physical needs. Can't find eggs, butter, meat or even bleach? Well I have seen our church family drive around to countless stores to purchase items not for their family but for another family. Can't find bread, how about I make your family homemade bread! Struggling to find meat, I have some in the freezer and I can bring it to you. Can't find baby wipes, I'm at a store does anyone in our church need some? Can't find any cleaners, I have a bottle of bleach I can share. I have seen all the above and many more situations from our church family. To be honest I think this is more along the lines of what the first century church looked liked than our church was a few weeks ago.

My social media feed is full of prayer groups, devotional thoughts, bible lesson videos and streaming services! In fact churches almost crashed Facebook on Sunday because there were so many services being streamed! How cool is that? Think about the people on your social media that never go to church. When you share a blog post, bible lesson or church service they are at least seeing a glimpse of the Gospel. If they actually watch, they may be hearing the Gospel for the first time ever and during this time of certainty they may be more open to a God that is constant. I have seen families share their faith in unique ways, sidewalk chalk verses, painted stain glass for Easter (we did this and had a blast, picture below) or simply talking with a neighbor (from six feet away) and sharing your faith.

But if you read this and think I don't feel like anyone is checking on me, I don't have purpose in our church family or no one is "fellowshiping" with me. My question to you is who have you checked on, how have you served the church or what ways are YOU inviting people to virtually fellowship with one another. Not just your physical family, but your spiritual family. It is easy to sit in our house and think what others should be doing for us, or how our church is not meeting your needs, but it is much harder to BE the Church.

--Ashley Lankford