Updated: May 7, 2020
Last summer a friend and I decided to embark on the humbling hobby of surfing. If you’ve never tried it, just imagine paddling tirelessly for what feels like hours, only to look back and realize you’ve made it three feet from the shore. Once you get out far enough, you have to position yourself on the wave and your board, and do a balance-beam-act to get yourself up on the board.
A lot of times we ended swimming against the current to get out far enough only to be obliterated by a wave and swept up on shore like beached whales.
We were learning and had spent money, so we weren’t giving up that easily. We slowly learned the do’s and don'ts and by the end of the summer we were getting the hang of it. We would finally ride a wave in and get some Soul Surfer vibes. Well, until the next wave demolished us and our pride. Don’t be fooled, we were mediocre at best.
I can tell you one thing -- had I tried to learn to surf by myself, I would’ve sold my surfboard on Facebook Marketplace by week two. I needed someone to learn with or at least pull me out of seaweed masses when I got stuck.
We need people.
Right now, this might be more true than ever! We’re feeling a lack of human connection, something we probably didn’t know we needed so bad until we didn’t have it.
What should we do if we feel disconnected from community because we have to stay home and away from people (besides the DoorDash delivery guy)?
Though circumstances may look different, we can still experience the power of fellowship right now.
What even is fellowship?
It’s a group of people unified by a shared interest -- for Christians that is Jesus. It can be a lot of things including encouraging and motivating one another, bearing each other’s burdens, loving each other, and strengthening one another’s faith.
We’re meant to do this together!
Thankfully we have the technology to connect with others virtually, through Facetime, Zoom, etc. We still have an opportunity to be seeking out fellowship regularly!
Here are two ways fellowship can enhance our faith, whether in the normalcy of our lives or in uncertain times.
How much easier is it to do something when someone is doing it with you? Maybe you haven’t cracked open your bible or prayed since being in quarantine. Maybe you feel lonely, bored or even depressed.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another...”
What if you started a bible reading plan with a friend? Or even, dare I say it, prayed together with them over Facetime? What if you Zoom’d with a group of friends at the same time every week to check in and motivate each other?
In a time where numbing out and being lazy feels easier, this is a crucial time to motivate others to continue growing in their faith!
One of my favorite stories of fellowship in the Bible is in 1 Samuel 23. David was being hunted by a relentless and determined enemy, trying to kill him at all costs. Jonathan was one of David’s good friends, and when David was in a hard spot, what Jonathan did was incredible.
“Jonathan went to David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16
Jonathan couldn’t rescue David, give him all the answers, or even stay with him. But he could encourage him to stay the course, to keep his faith.
We have the same opportunity. Some of you have felt this transition to be harder than others. You’re experiencing loss, fear, or hurt -- maybe you’re “David” in this story.
Or maybe this season hasn’t been all that bad for you -- you might be “Jonathan” in this story.
Do you need to be strengthened in your faith?
Do you need to offer that encouragement to someone?
Either camp is okay to be in, but what you do about it is what matters!
So call that friend. Schedule that weekly Zoom. Send that text of encouragement. Seeking out fellowship is crucial to our spiritual and emotional health! We need each other now more than ever. This is an *essential* time to motivate and encourage one another in our faith!
Learn more about how to maximize fellowship right now by using the questions below for further discussion and also check out this week's podcast by Clary York called "Spur On Your Squad."
In the past, how have people encouraged or motivated you to go deeper in your faith?
What holds you back from reaching out to people for encouragement?
Who are the one or two people that you need to reach out to this week?
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