In fellowship sweet

In fellowship sweet

Back of Dinning House: People would sit outside when the room was crowded

There is evidence that, as well as formal worship, informal fellowship with fellow believers has always been a feature of  healthy spiritual life throughout the long, geographically wide, history of the Christian church.  I always remember an old elder saying that believers are a bit like the embers on the fire; they meet together and there is warmth and a healthy glow, separate them and and the glow lessens… HOW TRUE.

If you are a non believer reading this you will not be able to understand the unity, encouragement, friendship, power of the Holy Spirit as well as sheer joy experienced by believers.  I say this as someone who has, from time to time throughout life, been criticized for having many non believing friends!

Inteerior
Never got a photo of the place full!
Back in 2005 we started a testimony/fellowship meeting after the Sunday evening service, 8 30 at our home in Gargunnock near Stirling.  It proved to be very popular with as many as 55 attending on occasion and people even sitting outside the patio doors. Young and not so young would sit on the floor! Here is the formula we found successful for anyone wishing to do similar:

First Sunday of each month except December April June and July-   8  meetings per year

Reminder by email with list of future speakers was effective

It was open to all denominations and indeed people of no faith were often welcomed.

8 30 : supper with a decent spread.

9pm : speaker.

9 30 : Questions – often (though not always) enlightening and edifying!

Two hymns or psalms chosen by speaker

More than half the time we had well known speakers; authors, businessmen and women, leading churchmen, all very different people but they had, without exception, miraculously and wonderfully come to faith. Quite often we invited ordinary people of faith and, believe it or not,  they spoke extremely effectively and there was almost always that sense of blessing! God works in the lives of all sorts of people.  No reason to be surprised by this;  you just have to look at the very different followers of Jesus himself as he walked among us.

We stopped hosting meetings in late 2015 after 10 years, a similar or modified format of course can be used by anyone.  Fold up plastic chairs are just £5 from Ikea, word soon gets round.  We would quite often remember with horror that the “invasion” of  a meeting was a few days away but by the time we were waving goodbye to friends from different churches we would, with a feeling of euphoria,  be agreeing how worthwhile the meeting had been.

From recent blogging I have learned, surprisingly that many people with clear faith have become disillusioned with, and have even abandoned, formal worship.  I would however urge you to find a good bible believing church and be surprised by how much you would benefit from meeting with fellow Christians.  If some members in the church you join hold an extra informal fellowship meetings all the better!

To friends who are closed to spiritual matters, and in particular the resurrection and promise of eternal life for the believer, I ask this question?…How do you explain the testimony of 80 or so men and women, most of whom are professional, intelligent and influential in the 21st century?  They all talk of that deep faith in Jesus Christ, guidance from God and the power of the Holy Spirit… Are they deluded? Are you in all honesty able to dismiss these believers as little more than idiots?

Maybe skeptics could dismiss them as  weak in some way as well as deluded,  perhaps my own experience as a boy witnessing the power of God in revival was just a bit of hype?  However, despite my own lack of spirituality, I keep looking to the written word of God in the bible which consistently explains so many things which in the secular world of today remain a mystery.

Roman emperor Diocletian reckoned he had eradicated Christianity,  most of the men of the enlightenment to whom we in many ways owe a debt of gratitude thought they had rendered Christianity impotent,  communist regimes brutally tried but failed miserably to extinguish the light of the gospel.  Many  denominations of the church today in Britain have  become a total laughing stock through the weakness and… dare I say it?… sheer stupidity of their leadership!  Despite this, taking a global view the old hymn expresses the kingdom God progressing so well in saying .. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of  Christ’. Our Saviour himself said ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.

We would from time to time at the fellowship meeting  joyfully sing the words of this old hymn which inspired the title.

New York
On Holiday with the family
Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “In fellowship sweet

  1. keeping to the left hand side, don’t know what this means , but for sure murdo I still pray every night for you and family, been through allot of unexplained things that’s come to light so for sure I believe, almost like someone watching over me,when a bad situation happens I always seem to just miss it,some times its annoying, wish your familly and your kind self strength sir,thanks for being a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keeping you in prayer, Brother Murdo. Now for about 18 years, we are also conducting prayer meetings and Bible study fellowships at our home on weekly basis. Some time we give a break for couple of months and then continue it with a renewed fervor. Some church members from our church, at times believers from other churches and mainly unbelievers from our neighborhood and friend circle attend it and it is always followed by a lovely dinner. In all these years my dear wife Renu has faithfully been serving Lord by hosting the fellowship and cooking delicious meals for the fellowship and Lord has greatly blessed her with a humble spirit and a loving heart. At times there is only one visitor and other times our drawing room is full and there could be 20 to 25 people. It is really a great blessing to conduct these fellowship meets. God has really blessed us in all these years and we never found any lack in serving him. Whenever I read your testimonies, it seems like I am listening to another Anil in Scotland and only difference I find that I do not know how to fly a plane. Thinking that you had at times 55 people attending the meet at your home, I still have a long way to go, what a blessing that would be. Another difference that I found that you invited other speakers to present the Word but at my home, it has always been me sharing the Word of God. We also use plastic chairs, earlier we had around 30 chairs but after many years of use most of them got broken. Now few months back, I purchased around 10 new plastic chairs and hopefully number of people will increase and I will bring in more. Brother Murdo, I want you to know that your ministry on this Earth has still a long way to go and it will flourish more and more and you will see it with your own eyes. Be blessed my Brother and continue to rise and shine for the Lord and I pray, the Face of the Almighty God, continue to shine upon you and you continue to bring glory and honor to His Holy Name. In the mighty, most precious and holy Name of Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen. Your brother in Christ. Anil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must keep this work going Anil and you will feel blessed from it..
      My experience was that keeping it informal and flexible worked well.
      Email reminders with a list of future speakers also helped immensely.

      Like

  3. I’d been to church about three times when I ended up at one of your meetings Murdo with Calum jack! I still remember it and the welcome I received. Thank you for the encouragement and fellowship received at such an early stage of my journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We held a house meeting in our home for 20 years during which time we saw God move in many different ways. It’s sometimes easier to begin with to invite someone to your home to an informal gathering rather than the more formal church set up. I can sense how rich your gatherings were as I have read this.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s