NT Tuesday: Fellowship – Part 2
Last week we started a conversation about fellowship. As a review let’s remind ourselves that inherent in the principle of fellowship are three key ideas:
- Fellowship means being a part of a group, a body of people.
- Fellowship means sharing with others certain things in common such as interest,
goals, feelings, beliefs, activities, labor, privileges and responsibilities, experiences, and
- Fellowship means a partnership that involves working together and caring for one
another as a company of people, like a company of soldiers or members of a family.
So, how does this pertain to Boys Camp at Greenwood Hills? For one, the staff (counselors, directors, support staff, and the camp staff) are a group of people (clearly). These dear believers share certain things in common – a desire to serve Jesus Christ by serving His people at Greenwood and share in a concern for the spiritual well-being of the campers.
Usually the first two aspects are relatively straightforward. It’s the third aspect that becomes a little less clear, a little less obvious, perhaps a little less present in our idea of fellowship. You see, the concept of working together involves everyone pulling in the same direction, everyone rowing in the same direction, everyone marching to the same beat. This is where it gets a little harder, a little more difficult for some.
Well-meaning brothers and sisters can be rowing contrary to the group, marching to a different beat, and not pulling in the same direction. It’s happened before at Boys Camp and it happens all too frequently in the local assembly.
This year, we had 118 campers. That’s the highest number of campers we have had in a long, long time. One would think that the logistics would have been more challenging or that the stress level would have been higher, but it wasn’t. And the solution, as noticed by several counselors and staff, was that everyone was pulling in the same direction. There was no “lone ranger”, no counselor having his own agenda, we were all in fellowship. It makes all the difference in the world. So, in a year when directing the camp should have been harder (because of the number of campers), it wasn’t. It was the best year in seven years of directing the camp.
The same can be true in the local body. Well meaning Christians can actually hamper the progress of the meeting by failing to march together, by failing to pull in the same direction. This usually happens when brothers and sisters have their own agendas. And, franky, one can even isolate the agendas to a few key areas – music, youth work, women’s ministries, and use of gifts. These seem to be the areas within the assembly that seem to attract the most attention from individuals who are trying to “make a name for themselves” or “trying to shake things up.”
Here’s a simple test as to whether you are really in fellowship or not – whether you are rowing together or rowing contrary to the body – has it been necessary for the elders to spend an unusually large amount of their time “with you” in regards to one or more of these areas? If so, you might need to start rowing in a different direction.
Until next week, fulfill your ministry!