Two women friends chatting over coffee at homeWhat Ever Happened to Biblical Fellowship?
A few weeks ago, Phil and I spent an evening with a friend playing games, getting to know one another’s history, then worshiping and engaging in Biblical fellowship. It was a wonderful night. We had great fun playing a quirky board game. We enjoyed the food we shared. Worship was wonderful. But the best part for Phil and I was the Biblical fellowship. In all honesty, it feels a bit wrong to say that the Biblical fellowship was better than the worship, but I think it’s an issue of familiarity. I enjoy worship frequently. True Biblical fellowship is so rare. And that’s a sad thing.

Biblical fellowship is not just fellowship with other believers. It is fellowship centered around what God is doing in our lives. It is talking about what we are learning from our daily Bible reading. It is sharing the nuggets of joy or peace or His presence that we experienced during our times with God. It’s talking about a recent sermon we heard or book we read that impacted us. It’s sharing our spiritual history with one another.

The sad thing is that in Christian gatherings, the conversation sounds much like the conversation around the water cooler at work, perhaps different only in the cleaned-up language that is used. Topics and conclusions differ little. It is an indictment against us that we talk more about sports and hobbies and families than about what God is doing in our lives.

Why are our conversations so lacking in spiritual content?
Three answers come to mind immediately:

  1. We are embarrassed to appear “too spiritual” to our friends. Since no one else is doing it, we’re embarrassed to be the first kid on the block to change the conversation. I say, let’s be courageous! Start the conversation!
  2. We don’t want to embarrass the people we’re talking to. Maybe they aren’t in a place in their spiritual walk where they would have something to share. And we don’t embarrass them. Phil and I have found that the people we want to be around most are those who challenge spiritually. If that’s the case, why do we shy away from being those people? Again, I say – let’s be courageous! Let’s start the conversations!
  3. We aren’t spiritual enough. We can’t talk about what God is doing in our lives because we’re not aware of what He’s doing. We’ve allowed our life and our vision to be filled with the things of this world leaving little or no room to encounter God and see Him at work in our life. I don’t want to be that person (but admit that I sometimes (often?) am). I say – let’s make God a priority every day, and then practice looking for God at work in our lives. (Read Developing a Seeking Heart for more on this.)

Biblical Fellowship Conversation Starters
While generally it’s a good idea to start conversations by asking questions about the person you’re talking with, when introducing Biblical fellowship into your conversations, that might be a bit risky. It puts others in a vulnerable position. It’s much better to start your Biblical fellowship conversations with stories about your own experience. After sharing your vulnerability, you can engage them in the conversation by asking questions. Here are some ways to get the Biblical fellowship conversation started:

  • “I saw something yesterday that reminded me of the goodness of God. __________________________________.” (Sometimes all it takes is beginning the conversation. Your initial comment may spark continued Biblical fellowship in others without you asking them any questions.
  • “I read something interesting in during my quiet time this morning…” Then follow your story up with something like ‘What do you think about that passage?”
  • “I noticed something I’ve never noticed before in the story of _________________ (fill in the appropriate Bible story). Have you noticed that before? What do you think about it?”
  • “I read a blog this morning that challenged me to _________________. How do you _________________?”
  • “Recently, God has been impressing upon me the need to _________________, but I don’t know where to start. Do you have any ideas? How do you _________________?”
  • “On Sunday, our pastor said _________________ and it really hit me. So I’ve started to _________________. But I’m having a hard time with _________________. How do you do that?”
  • “Tell me about how you came to the Lord.”
  • “Have you attended any Christian conferences recently? What was the theme? What impacted you the most?”

In our society, the conversation rarely centers around God (at least not in a positive way), even at Christian gatherings. Be the person that changes that. Yes, it takes courage. Yes, it means making yourself vulnerable to others. And yes, you’ll be opening the door to uplifting and encouraging conversation. So a final time, I say – let’s be courageous! Let’s start the conversations!

Oh, and by the way, it’s a great way to enhance your spiritual walk with your spouse. Take your joint walk with the Lord to new levels by regularly having Biblical fellowship.

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