What's The Difference?
What's the difference between worshiping as a part of a Spirit led fellowship, as opposed to being a member of a formalized religious institution?
# Well the first difference is that you become a part of a fellowship, rather than being a member of a congregation. You become a part of a close knit family of believers who are all Christ centered. A family who are one in their purpose to know the LORD more intimately and to grow in their experience of Him. A family where people are vulnerable, transparent and honest. Where people grow together, cry together and laugh together. A real place with real people being changed and transformed daily by a real Saviour.
A place where you learn to 'walk in the Spirit' and to grow into a wonderful, mature and intimate walk with God, in the company of others who celebrate His Presence and Love.
# You also become a part of a fellowship of believers where the Holy Spirit leads the meetings and where you will encounter the Beauty and the Presence of Christ in every gathering, where you will grow and continue to be groomed in His presence.
# Personal problems are a part of every individual's life, no matter who you are. They are a part of living a life on planet earth. There are things to be worked out and resolved in everyone's life. No one is too perfect to change. We recognize this as being real, and therefore we are unashamed to be in a place of brokenness for God to change us. Those who become a part of a fellowship becomes a part of a family who continues to care for them and helps to bring them to the place of overcoming those things which weigh them down and causes them sorrow and hardship.
# You are likely to experience the reality of the Holy Spirit in a more real and tangible way than you have ever done so before. The Living Presence of God in these meetings are Authentic and real and touches and changes individual lives in every meeting. Each meeting is Christ focused and as a result the Presence and Power of His Spirit and Person is experienced in a wonderful way.
# Being a part of a fellowship means that you are going to grow! Your individual gift will be cultivated and developed, even if you presently may not know what that may be. The Holy Spirit works in His Own unique way of revealing His will and purpose with each life and builds into each one what he or she needs to become all He has chosen for them to be. Everyone is helped to become a Kingdom role player and to live out their full destiny in God.
FAQ ON "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?"
What's the difference between what you do and what we know as "church", have you not just changed locations to do "church" in homes?
NO, NOT ALL! In fact, it is completely irrelevant where we meet, whether it be in a building, a house or outdoors really makes no difference. it's not the location that we meet in that matters, but what happens there!
What makes it any different then?
Well for starters, there is no set program for our meetings, we begin our meetings either in prayer, or in praise and worship, or we may even begin without any of these and start right off with the Word, all depending upon how the Holy Spirit would lead our meeting to go. Every meeting is the LORDS meeting and we allow Him to guide us through every meeting, just as He wants it to happen and fall into place. He is our focus, we are not gathered for any other reason except to interact with Him. So He gets to lead the meetings as He wants, and He does!
Does that not mean that your meetings are disorderly? The Bible is clear about the order is it not?
The question is, disorderly according to who's standard? According to what we as humans assume to be in order? Orderly according to what religious customs have taught us? Or according to the traditions that have been carried over from generation to generation? The Bible also sternly warns about these things! In fact, this was the one thing that hindered the freedom of God's Spirit in the ministry of Christ the most. Religious mindsets and the traditions of men refused to accept or acknowledge God's Presence and methods in their midst because it disagreed with their traditions and ways. Jesus warned that it was these very traditions that made God's Power ineffective to bring about the change that was so desperately needed through His spoken Word.
We believe that God is Sovereign and that when we come into His Presence, we should come in a position where we are yielded to His Spirit so that He may lead us and teach us. He knows everyone in that meetings and knows the exact needs of those present. Is it not reasonable then for us to keep from becoming a stumbling block by deciding what we think should happen and what we think those who are present need? Are they coming to meet with Him or with us?
So the order in your meetings is different, and you allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Is that all that is different?
No of course not, that is what is different in our meetings. Fellowship of the believers is structured according to the New Testament church, here are some of the other things that are contrary to how most religious institutions function:
- Our complete focus is on Christ. That means that we focus every person on Christ and on building a personal in-depth relationship with the LORD. People are discipled to become Christ-dependent and not dependent upon any man. This takes us away from the arena where leaders are the ones people look to and depend upon. Sure they are there to lead, but in doing so they are leading people to build a strong relationship with the LORD.
- We do not have a fellowship filled with spectators. Everyone in the fellowship is developed and equipped to become an active role-player in advancing God's Kingdom. We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to discover and to develop each person in their specific calling and gift and allow them the room to grow into their own ministry.
- Our focus is not to gather a crowd but to reach people, to develop them and then to release and send them to fulfill their ministry in the Kingdom.
- Fellowship of the Believers is focused on individual growth rather than corporate growth. We allow the Holy Spirit to speak and to work in the lives of individuals, rather than seeking to have a large group to whom we speak corporately.
- The spiritual growth rate of people in FOB is rapidly accelerated and it is exciting to see how people change and develop to bloom in their walk with God. Many who have become a part of these fellowships have told us that they have grown more in a couple of short months, than in all their time as Christians attending regular religious institutions.
Seeing that you are so different in the way that you do things, can you not be described as a cult?
Sure we can! But so was Jesus and the early church also! Again it depends upon who makes the claim and from what perspective they are talking. If a religious institution makes lays such a charge, it is because they disagree with what we are doing for the simple reason that it threatens what they are doing! The easiest way to attempt to eliminate what is considered a threat is to try and discredit it.
If we however purely use the Bible as a standard to go by and follow the example of those who went before us, chances are that we will discover most of the religious institutions of our day to be 'cults' of some kind or another!
OK, so what is expected for someone to become a part of the Fellowship of the Believers?
Firstly, a deep love for the LORD and a desire to learn and to change. We reach people by simply allowing Christ to be expressed through us, it is the Love of God working in the Power of His Spirit that draws people to Himself and He joins them to our meetings.
Secondly, people who are committed. Those whom the LORD joins to our fellowships are not people who attend once a month, they are people who attend every meeting that is held, even if it means attending a couple of times a week! We have found that those who come on and off are usually those who at the end no longer come at all. They are in it at the beginning because it's fresh and new and exciting, and because the Holy Spirit is working, but when it comes time for them to commit, or when the Lord begins challenging them over something private in their lives through the meetings, they leave as quickly as they came. At the end, it is those who are truly committed to be discipled that stay, and we would not have it any other way!
Thirdly I would say that people who become a part of the fellowships are people who understand that they are constantly under construction. God is constantly at work in their lives and they change from day to day as a result of it. They embrace such change, understanding that the Holy Spirit is changing them from Glory to Glory, as they transformed into the full Stature of Christ.
There is more to add, but as a final point let me add that those who are a part of us are people who care about another as much as they care about themselves. There is a lot of Love that is being imparted into the lives of people who worship with us, and because Love is alive in them, it is shared among them.