There are two distinct personality types that most people fall into. The first is the type of person who believes that they can do everything on their own without any help from others. The other is the type of person who believes in communal problem solving. Fellowship (or establishing a sense of community) is easy for the person with the second personality type, but can be much more challenging for the other.
While it’s important to spend alone time with God, your whole faith shouldn’t come from what you learn on your own. Christians are called to fellowship with one another – building each other up into stronger Christians. Dallas Willard says it best in his book The Spirit of the Disciplines when he said: “The fire of God kindles higher as the brands are heaped together and each is warmed by the other’s flame.” Mentally picture yourself and a few friends holding candles spread across a football field. While each one of you has some light, it’s not enough for you to individually see everything around you. Now, imagine the light’s brightness if you and your friends were all to come on the 50-yard line to put your candles together. Fellowship helps make God’s fire shine brighter so that everyone can see His majesty in a more brilliant light.
In fellowship, people come together to enjoy common worship, study, prayer and celebration experiences. Each person brings her own spiritual gifts to the table to help brighten Christ’s light. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may use it for the common good.” Everyone has different gifts given to her by God. The body of Christ works well together when all the different gifts come together. You benefit from fellowship because you have the opportunity to experience all the different gifts you wouldn’t receive on your own.
If building community is easy for you, your challenge is to dig deeper within your community. As you become settled into your new classrooms at school, try putting together a Bible study with some of your friends. Watch Christ move through you as a group. It’s amazing what God can do through the love and support of a group of friends. If planning a Bible study is too much to take on right now, try putting together a prayer group or establishing an accountability partner. You must include God into your fellowship time in order to build the kind of fellowship Christ wants for you. Make sure His presence is clear in whatever you choose to do with your friends.
If you have a hard time communicating or connecting with other people, forming a bible study or prayer group might be too intimidating right now. Fellowship is a healthy way to express yourself and doesn’t have to be a grand act. You don’t need to talk a lot to be in fellowship. Try connecting with a close friend at least once per week to catch up on what God is doing in your life. Offer support by just listening to their problems or providing encouragement. Also, consider participating in an arts class. Sometimes just painting beside someone can provide you with just what you need to make it through the day. Arts classes can be a great way to meet people with similar interests, as well. No matter the task, try to put God into it, whether it’s fishing, basketball or drawing. Figure out God’s place in the activities you’re involved in and work Him into that fellowship. You’ll be surprised by how much more rewarding it is to have God with you in all that you do.
The Christian walk can’t be taken alone. You were created to connect with others. To go it alone is to go against God’s plan for your life. You need fellowship to help sustain your walk with Christ. Like Taylor Swift says, “two is better than one.”