1 John 3:16 (NIV)—“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”. In line with the scripture, I appeal to you– a member of a small group or board of directors, to hold unto this covenant that encompasses the 9 characteristics of biblical fellowship:
1) Sharing of true feeling (authenticity)
2) Encouraging one another (Mutuality– Amos 3:3)
3) Supporting one another (Sympathy)
4) Forgiving one another (Mercy)
5) Speaking the truth in love (Honesty)
6) Admitting our weakness (Humility)
7) Respecting our differences (Courtesy)
8) Confidentiality (No gossip)
9) Group priority (frequency)
In a nutshell, we ought to give up those sinful human natures – “self-centeredness”, “selfish individuality”, and “ego”; and become “inter-dependent” on one another.
The benefits of sharing life together far outweigh the cost. And it draws others into salvations– (Acts 2.41 – 47)
Share life together:
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)–
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”.. God demands us to adopt a “sharing lifestyle”. The Bible further calls such lifestyle, “fellowshipping”. The meaning of “fellowshipping” has been distorted to usually refer to casual conversation, socializing, dining and wining. The question, “where do you fellowship” has basically been understood as “which church do you attend” while “Stay after fellowship” has usually meant “wait for refreshments”. But true fellowship is so much more than just showing up at church services. It transcends beyond that. . It requires sharing with your fellow brethren. True fellowship is unselfish; it is loving, honest, practically serving, sacrificing, sympathetic, comforting, and a lot more.
Finally, breaching the covenant of true fellowship, offends the Holy Spirit of God and can even lead to death (acts 5:1-10).