I have had some very positive responses and follow-up to my sermon on Sunday. People have been requesting CDs and copies of the notes. Quite a few have let me know they really appreciated it because it brought up the ideas that people need to be honest with themselves and others. Almost everyone had some kind of observation or example to share, it was a great expierence.
I talked about “building a safe fellowship” that includes, honesty, humility, respect, not gossiping, and commitment. People need to be honest with themselves and with others and be open to learning from one another’s actions. A fellowship is no place for pride; pride builds walls while humility will build trust and connection. Respect is important because it helps people trust as well and allows new ideas to be heard. Keeping fellowship business inside the fellowship is very important to make the group safe for others. No one wants others passing along a “prayer request” or praying about his/her problems to others. Commitment is important because all relationships take time, it takes time to realize the needs of people, it takes time to get past the “issues” you may have with others, and it takes time to see how to love someone. When it comes to any kind of relationship time is love, and love is time.
When you look at these characteristics, it is obvious why real fellowship is so rare. It means giving up our selfishness and independence in order to become interdependent. But the benefits of sharing life together far outweight the costs, and it prepares us for heaven. – Day 19 Purpose driven life by Rick Warren
PS. I would like to give a huge thanks to the big guy up stairs. Only with you could I ever be where I am today!