SamIam wrote:Of course you can do what you want to do ... but remember that "fellowshipping" involves more than just what you are learning. It also involves what you are teaching (or serving, or helping) others. Giving of yourself is difficult if you don't settle down and spend time with the same people.
I mentioned that I think it is beneficial to be committed to wherever you fellowship. I'm committed to fellowshipping, but I'm committed to more than one group. Why must I only commit to one group? I agree with you that fellowship is more than just one-way. It's not just about what I'm
receiving. I mentioned that I go to different churches in order to encourage other Christians, either with my gifts or just in my relations with them. I do serve in different capacities in the meetings I attend and I try to develop relationships with people. Unfortunately, I wish I would receive much more than I do. There are some Christians I meet in church who do not seem very excited to discuss the things of God, or to mutually encourage one another. I have found a small remnant in each group that does, and I tend to gravitate more towards them. But I also try to engage those who don't seem like they are really communing with other people as much.
Regarding whether it is difficult or not to give of yourself if you attend more than one meeting... I will agree. It is difficult. But I try to do it anyway. I feel as though it keeps me on my toes to make sure I am redeeming the time I do spend with different groups. If I'm always in the same group, at least I noticed in the past, that I began to get lazy and stopped seeking persistently for true genuine fellowship. Perhaps that was my own fault, but when I was committed to one group, I began to realize that since we knew each other so well, we gradually stopped talking about the things of God and started gravitating toward futile conversations quite often. I began to realize that a lot of the relationships I had worked so hard on were not continuing to develop but were degrading. Perhaps this was due to my own disillusionment or pride or perhaps it was confirmation that God was calling me elsewhere... but ever since it has made me try to remain diverse in my Christian relationships, and make sure that our relationships center in on God rather than in whatever other things might get in the way. I'm not saying that I can never have fun with someone or just talk about something that is not spiritual in nature, but I am careful that I don't forget why I am fellowshipping: for the edification of the body of Christ.. not just to be a part of a Christian club.
SamIam wrote:This is not an accusation of anything ... but what if while engaging some part of the body of Christ, you are shown that you need to repent of something? What keeps one from simply church-hopping to a more comfortable place?
If it's shown to me that I need to repent of something, then I hope to repent of it. I don't see what you mean. There are things that are shown to me daily that I need to repent of outside
of church meetings. If someone is just going from church to church to escape the conviction of the Holy Spirit, why are they even a Christian at all? I daily ask God to search my heart and show me any wicked way in me, that He might lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24
). If someone is trying to escape the conviction of the Holy Spirit, why would they go to a different church? Wouldn't they just stop going to church altogether? I'm sure there are some people who go to certain churches because they have 'itching ears' to hear a watered-down message. But this would seem to indicate something that is an issue in the person's relationship with God, not their relationship with His people and the fellowship we have in Him. Of course this would affect their relation to His people, but their real problem is with God, not His people.