“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Let’s ask ourselves an honest question: How am I doing? No, really. How are you doing? Are you drowning in the face of life’s challenges? Are you emotionally drained? If so, when did you last spend significant time with people who pour into you? When did you last spend time with fellow believers in close, intimate discipleship?
Fellowship with other believers is vital for our Christian walk. Not just for fun and laughs, but for encouragement, accountability and learning.
We ought to surround ourselves with people who will hold us accountable, call out our sins, encourage us, pray with us and talk with us about hard topics or passages of Scripture.
Without that support, I believe it is incredibly difficult for anyone to be actively growing in faith.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But I’m an introvert. I’m really happy to be by myself and with my own thoughts. Being around people can exhaust me.”
But let me tell you what I’ve learned over the past year or so. When I’m with my closest friends and we’re just spending time together talking — about God, our struggles, the funny thing that happened to us — I never feel drained. Quite the opposite actually. I leave spiritually and emotionally energized, knowing I have intimate fellowship with people I know I can trust.
This deep, personal fellowship cannot be found in corporate gatherings, and often, I think it also requires something beyond a Bible study group.
Both are important forms of fellowship urged to all believers, but meaningful one-on-one fellowship offers something different.
So this is my encouragement to you: Don’t settle for just going to church on Sundays and joining a Bible study or Sunday School class. Be intentional and seek out friendships that encourage you and energize you in your faith. Nurture those friendships and don’t shy away from asking hard questions or having hard conversations. I believe deep relationships with fellow believers will only deepen your love and knowledge of God.