"In today’s highly individualistic society, it’s so easy to try to devote yourself to the apostles’ teaching—that is, to Scripture—apart from any meaningful fellowship. Of course it’s very important to regularly read your Bible alone. But the early church set an example that is crucial for us to apply: fellowship with others anchored in God’s Word and prayer." - TGC
By M.R. Conrad. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.
How do you choose your friends? Your mom likely helped you choose your first friends. She probably told the mothers of your classmates, “I want my kids to have good friends so they stay out of trouble.” University professors exhort their students to network to gain connections to move up in their fields. “It’s not what you know but who you know,” the experts often repeat. But left on your own, how do you go about choosing friends? What common interests draw you to other people? What are you looking for in a friendship?
At age 25, Henry Martyn boarded a ship for India.1 You might call him the “Father of Tentmaking Missions.” Nobody calls him that, but that’s what he did in 1806 long before tentmaking trended in missiological circles. He took a job as an Anglican chaplain for the East India Company so he could take the gospel to countries in Asia and the Middle East that did not welcome missionaries. Arriving in Calcutta, Martyn traveled north to Serampore to befriend William Carey and his team of Baptists.
"The process of helping someone else improve their effectiveness absolutely requires a positive relationship. Earlier in this same chapter (Proverbs 27:6, NASB) it says,'Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.'" - GARBC
"A LifeWay Research survey sponsored by the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary finds majorities of those who attend U.S. Protestant or non-denominational churches at least monthly agree with the two sentiments that are seemingly in conflict." - Facts & Trends
Read the series.
“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen; nobody knows my sorrow.” We all know the song—or at least that much of it—and we all know the feeling.
Oh, it’s true that the losses, disappointments, failures, and wrongs that tend to lead to bitterness are “common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13), but at the same time, each person’s experience is unique. Our hearts tell us no one understands or can understand.
From there, it’s a small step downward to the attitude that no one cares. Sometimes it may even be true.
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. (ESV, Psalm 142:4)
"Fundamentalism is best known for its separatism, a willingness to separate when biblical truth is at stake. Separation, however, is the flipside of fellowship. If we can fellowship with someone (or something like a church or an association), we cannot separate from him (or it). If we do not have a basis for biblical fellowship, then we will struggle with our basis for biblical separation."
Apparently some are all “shook up” over the practice of greeting visitors during worship services. A variety of polls suggests that most visitors are extremely uncomfortable with this practice. Studies also suggest that many faithful church attendees are also uncomfortable with the practice of greeting the familiar, as well as those who may be new, in the ebb and flow of a church service.
Granted, there is clearly no Scriptural command to include a one minute and twenty-seven second opportunity in the worship service for greeting those you know or don’t know. There are a few passages though that speak to a practice of greeting one another with the “right hand of fellowship” (Galatians 2:9) and in other cases an “agape kiss” (1 Peter 5:14). However, these passages seem to simply report what was done and are not included to give a clear imperative for universal and normative church practice (though it’s enough to convince me of the benefit).