If you didn't get to check it out last night, Wednesday nights at Zion are awesome! There was great fellowship, great food, great music, and even a great first meeting between the youth and Jillianne last night! There's really something for everyone. You've got to check it out; come next week! Just register for dinner with Bobby in the church office by the Tuesday before at noon!
I was so impressed with how friendly and excited everyone was to be there and see each other. I have to be honest, I was a little nervous. Believe it or not, I really would like to be an introvert; but alas, I operate extrovertedly most of the time. At the end of the day, I am usually exhausted! Don't tell anyone, but, going to an event like Wednesday night dinners is a little intimidating for me because I worry if anyone will talk to me or if there will be anyone there that I am close with or with whom I can hang out! Do you ever feel that way? But, I have to say that last night I felt very comfortable in my introductions and conversations with everyone! I even got a few hugs (I love hugs).
Last night made me think about two things! First, how integral fellowship and fun are to our Christian faith! Acts 2:42 tells us that the early church devoted themselves to many things including fellowship! So it seems to make sense to me that through fellowship we are able to develop deeper relationships within the church and then in effect enhance our own personal relationship with God. I truly believe the church is meant to be a place where we experience in depth relationships and that it can be a place where life long friendships are developed (especially for youth). I've found that when I reflect on my experience as a youth that I generally don't remember the lessons or topics we studied, but do remember the people and the relationships that were important in my life. I remember moments of fellowship and fun on Wednesday nights or Sundays! I remember ski trips and spiritual life retreat and the friends that were there with me.
I heard an anology one time about fellowship that has really stuck with me! Basically, it said that God created family and friends so we could all have relationships that become intimate so we could enjoy one another’s company and companionship. Have you ever noticed in the wild how there are swarms of bees, flocks of birds and herds of buffalos? In some cities they have High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes that get you there faster because your not slowed down by individual vehicles driven by individual people. I beleive God wants you to travel in a High Occupancy Vehicle; when traveling in the HOV lane you pass up most of the jams you would have gotten into alone. The same is true when you’re a part of a healthy fellowship.
A church or a youth group without fellowship would be like a football player without a team; a soldier without a platoon; a tuba player without an orchestra; a sheep without a flock, or like a child without a family. I'm thankful for the strong example of fellowship that I saw at Zion last night and I look foward to forming closer relationship with you.
The second thing I thought about is how important it is to step out of our comfort zone ... even if we don't want to. This is a "biggie" in ministry for me! It's my soapbox! Usually a few things happen when we step out of our box:
1. We find out it wasn't so intimidating in the first place.
2. We have a really good time and learn and grow.
3. Our relationship with God grows.
Fellowship on Zion! Fellowship on!