The Importance of Community and Fellowship with Other Believers

Many believers in these times now believe that church is in the mind, or there's no need for church as long as one's fellowship with God is still intact. Apart from the fact we're in the last days, some of these things are also as a result of church hurts. Some people have had unpalatable experiences with church hence, living life through the lens of these hurts. This article isn't to address church hurts, maybe that would be done at a later time, but to address the importance of the church community ie fellowship with other believers, irrespective of what the experience has been. 

Hebrews 10 vs 25 says, "Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching". (AMP). Our adversary the enemy is only out to steal, kill and destroy. The Bible likens us to sheep in the Bible and usually they move as a flock. A sheep not part of the flock is easily susceptible to the attack of wolves; there's provision and protection in the flock. Christ the good shepherd will definitely pay attention to the needs of individual sheep. However, there is much more in store when believers move as one or as a family. So, let's look at some of the benefits: 

1)Belonging: Christian community and fellowship provide a sense of belonging to believers, which is crucial for mental health and well-being. You know you're part of a family and that makes a person feel less isolated or disconnected from the world.  It makes on less prone or less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. 

2)Support: It also provides emotional and spiritual support to believers. In times of crisis, such as a serious illness or a family tragedy, this support can be invaluable. Believers can turn to their community for prayer, encouragement, and practical assistance. Even in times of celebration,  how believers gather and show up,  speak to the kind of support one can always expect to receive.

3)Spiritual Growth: Fellowship with other believers provide opportunities for spiritual growth and learning. Believers can participate in Bible studies, prayer groups, and other religious activities that can deepen their faith and knowledge of God's word.

4)Accountability: It also help believers stay accountable and committed to their faith. They can participate in accountability groups, where they can discuss their struggles, receive support and encouragement to remain faithful to until the very end. 

5)Outreach: Christian community and fellowship provide opportunities for service and outreach to those in need. Believers can volunteer at local shelters or participate in mission trips, spreading the message of God's love and compassion. This avenue also provides the sharpening of talents, skills and spiritual gifts of believers, making them more useful to the body of Christ and the world at large.

6)Questions and Doubts: There is also an avenue or environment for individuals to express their doubts and questions. They can receive guidance and support from their fellow believers and can even learn from their experiences. All of this provide some of clarity and wisdom necessary to navigate through life.

7)Conflict Resolution: There is also the  opportunity for conflict resolution. Disagreements and conflicts may arise, but these challenges can also provide opportunities for growth and understanding. By handling these situations with grace and forgiveness, believers can deepen their relationships with one another and with God.

8)Mentorship: Christian community and fellowship can provide opportunities for mentorship. Older and more experienced believers can serve as mentors to younger believers, providing guidance and support in their faith journey. Even for a career or  business, one would find a believer who is doing excellently well in a field of choice and as a result,  gain insights from such fellow.

9)Diversity: It can also bring together people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, creating a diverse and inclusive community. This diversity can enrich the community by providing opportunities to learn from different experiences and perspectives.

10)Prayer: It also provides a space for believers to pray together. Group prayer can be a powerful way to connect with God, with one another and can provide a sense of unity and strength. Corporate prayers provide the avenue to experience God in a new and deeper way. My pastor once said, "There is no one who is better than all of us". Praying with others stir up the gifts that might be dormant in a person.

11)Worship: Christian community and fellowship provide opportunities for collective worship. This can be a powerful experience, as believers come together to praise God and express their love and devotion to Him.

Now, while christian community and fellowship are vital for the faith, it is important to note that they are not without conflicts and no one is perfect. Just as in any family or community, disagreements and conflicts are bound to arise, and christian communities are no exception.

However, it is through these conflicts and imperfections that believers can learn, grow, deepen their relationships with one another, with God, practice forgiveness and grace; Christ is formed in us when we practice these important values. Therefore, as uneasy as it may seem, it is not impossible, especially if we all stay yielded to the person of the Holy Spirit. 

As believers come together to worship, pray, serve, support one another, they can experience the love and compassion of God in a tangible way, build a stronger and more united community of faith.

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