Tony Evans tells a story of a time when he was in seminary and had to write a paper. He took great pride in always striving to get an A on every paper. So as usual he researched carefully and worked hard on what he thought was a well-thought-out paper expecting to get an A and instead received his paper back with a big red F on it. He was discouraged beyond words. But he saw the reason for the extreme grade. The professor wrote this note: “Tony, great detail, great scholarship and great effort. But you answered the wrong question.” So he had poured all of that time and effort into dealing with the wrong thing. His problem wasn’t sincerity. He was sincere. But he was sincerely wrong because he misunderstood his assignment.
As I read that I have wondered if we could be doing the same thing when it comes to different aspects of church life.
In particular I am thinking of fellowship. You may know that the elders have said our vision focus for 2018 is to increase a sense of fellowship here at MCC. In order to do that we have to do at least a couple of things: 1) Understand what fellowship is; 2) Provide opportunities for fellowship to happen.
Fellowship is not an optional part of Christian living. The church is called to be together. We have sometimes developed a very limited view of fellowship. Many churches believe if they have potluck dinners once a moth that fellowship is one of their strengths. And, thankfully food is a part of fellowship. We see this in the ministry of Jesus and in the early church. In Acts 2:46 we read, “they received their food with glad and generous hearts…”
So we hope to have opportunities to eat together. This is part of the reason why we have food available before and after Sunday School. The food somehow enhances our sense of fellowship and closeness. We also have food on our Wednesday night Winter Workouts. This time from 6:00 – 6:30 is part of our fellowship. Last week we had over 50 people here fellowshipping together. We do hope to have more potluck dinners and men’s steak dinners and pancake breakfasts. Our ladies are having a retreat March 2 -4 and our men will have an “Advance” again this fall.
But, there are other things that promote fellowship. Studying the word is an act of fellowship. At our Winter Workouts our fellowship does not stop when we get up from the tables. Going to the study opportunities is also part of fellowship. This past Saturday we had 17 people here working together toward a common goal to strengthen our children’s ministry in the appearance of our classrooms. These people gave of their time and energy and several paid to have child care so they could be here to serve with other believers. That kind of united effort and time together is fellowship.
We realize no one can be at everything that takes place. However, we want to encourage you to make a point to discipline yourself to be at any of the opportunities our church family is offering to strengthen our sense of fellowship. You will only benefit from this if you make time to be here.
This week’s opportunities: Winter Workout this Wednesday night from 6:00 – 7:30; Sunday School and Worship (those are part of fellowship too); Sunday night Super Bowl Party here at the church at 5:00. We will look forward to seeing you.