The Fellowship of a Church
Why do the New Testament letters spend so much time dealing with relationships between church members? Why do churches put such emphasis on people coming together at church rather than simply encouraging believers to pursue their own personal relationship with God?
The Bible and churches seem to take seriously God’s remark in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone. The Bible and churches seem to put a premium on people being connected with one another in a family of faith.
Morrie Schwartz, who was gradually dying of ALS shared with Mitch Albom (as recorded in Albom’s book, Tuesdays with Morrie), “In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right?…. But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well” (p. 157).
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend share the same message in their book, How People Grow:
“It is a medical fact…that from infancy to old age, health depends on the amount of social connection people have. Infants and older people die from a lack of relationship, and those in the middle suffer and fail to recover from illness….
“Virtually every emotional and psychological problem, from addictions to depression, has alienation or emotional isolation at its core or close to it. Recovery from these problems always involves helping people to get more connected to each other at deeper and healthier levels than they are” (p. 122).
The Bible stresses that we need one another.
What might it mean for us to take this more seriously?