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The Key Points on Success or Failure in Church Development To Promote Family Unit Fellowship

The Key Points on Success or Failure in Church Development To Promote Family Unit Fellowship

Yung-Ji Lin

The TrueChurch is personally established by God with spiritual life. Therefore, she will grow continuously. In actual fact, we have seen that the Church had a period of very rapid growth. However, lately this growth has slowed down. Where lays the problem? How can we once again witness God indwelling in us by reviving the rapid development of the church?

Sometimes in our work, we notice God indeed dwells with us. However, there are times when there are problems plaguing us. From the several issues listed below, what does God wants us to learn.

“Lately brothers and sisters have been diligent in divine work. God is working with us. Truth-seekers have been increasing rapidly. There are not sufficient workers. Who will take up the follow-up work?” Head of the Evangelical Unit reported happily but anxiously.

“Membership on the church exceeds 700 members. However, there are only 2-3 ministers. To pastor the church, much needs to be done but workers are insufficient. A preacher needs to be added or another minister ordained. Only then can this insufficiency in pastoral work be solved.” Head of Religious Unit pleads to the Regional Chairman as the church continues to grow but he feels incapable of handling the ever increasing volume of pastoral work.

“Fellowship of all ages has been established. We have looked into the needs of all age groups. However, the attendance for each fellowship is low. Committee for fellowship feels the frustration. How do we solve this problem” The head of the Education Unit has carried out these activities but however encounter such problems. He voiced his problem at the Church Management Committee hoping for a solution.

Other than the above stated, there are other problems faced such as how to prevent members from being “lost”, how to increase attendance for services, how to encourage all members in doing divine work. What would be the solution for all these problems?

Jesus Christ said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11.30) As such, we have to learn from God how to solve the problems in our divine service so that our service to the Lord will be filled with joy.

I.       Love Is the Basic Prerequisite For Church Growth

According to the prophecy of the prophets, the later day church will be more glorious than the early church. The increasing love of the believers is a manifestation of the glory of the church.

During the down pouring of the Holy Spirit, the Lord personally established the first church which is the Church in Jerusalem being full of love. Not only were they well loved by all, the Lord added daily to the numbers (Acts 2.47). How did they manage to be a church of love? The main reason is that they practiced the basic Christian is communal living (Acts 2.42)

The principal of communal living can be explained from the Truth pertaining Holy Communion. Therefore it is called Holy Communion. One of the significant factors is that our Lord Jesus through His great love shed His blood for mankind to enable mankind to be reconciled with God and also to break down the walls between man to enable man to live a harmonious life. Therefore Paul said “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body for we all partake of that one bread.” (I Cor 10.16-17). The partaking means communion. Through the communion in the Lord, only can we learn living in true love. Unless we understand the true meaning of communion, only then we can experience perfect love. Not only that, we can manifest this love. Love can bear the best witness. It is the most attractive reason in leading man to God. Therefore, love cannot be lacking for church growth.

II.    Why Is The Church Weak?

Jesus placed great importance in living in mutual love. Therefore there is very great expectation for church growth. When He sees that the church does not fulfill His expectation, He immediately taught them.

Initially, the church in Ephesus was a church of love. She was established in love by Paul. The believers than lived an exemplary life of faith. (Acts 19:27, 35:10, 19). After Paul had left Ephesus for over 30 years, the then believers being the 2nd and 3rd generation believers weakened in their love. Pastoral problems arose constantly. As such, Jesus instructed John to write to the messenger in the church in Ephesus reminding them the responsibility of teaching. To allow the church to continue in preaching the good tidings through love.

God is love. If the church looses her love, she looses its witness. This is very unglorifying and is a stumbling block. As such, God is very concerned for this. Those who are loved by God would be chastised by Him. He will not ignore us. Why did the church in Ephesus loose their first love? From the letter from the Lord, we note that they have neglected the spirit of communion. As such, their love changed. There are many churches today which frequently partake in Holy Communion sacrament but they have neglected the significant of the teaching on Holy Communion – a life of communion. They do not live a life of communion living out the love of God. As such, the love in the church has diminished and divine work lost and fragmented. Common sights noticed are:

1.       Spiritual kinship is lost. When members do not understand the true meaning of communion, and they have not recognized that we are one spiritual family. When they meet in the street, at most they nod their head and not even greet each other just like strangers. Such behavior, easily lead the weak to fall.

2.       Not willing to pay the price. In communal living in order to cultivate love, a price has to be paid. If one does not understand this important truth, one will be self-centered. As such, one will not be willing to carry out divine work giving the excuse of having “no time” to reject this divine work. However, one does not ponder that if God takes away his life, can he continue to reject?

3.       Friction continues to happen. The communion is established in the foundation of truth. If emphasis on the Truth is neglected during the promotion of this communion, conflicts easily arise due to differences of opinions as such the divine work will be affected.

4.       Members are easily “lost.” Weak members cannot receive the support of love. When they are discouraged, they easily escaped through the “back door” (Matt 25:41-46).

5.       Losing the opportunity to snatch souls. If the church lacks love, it will lack the power to attract man to the church. Despite many testimonies, the work will be in vain.

In view of the above, if the church looses its love, the end result is frightening.

III. Why Can’t The Communion Be Effective?

A communion filled with life can allow those in this communal living experience the fellowship between members. As such, attendance is enhanced and the drop out rate reduced. Service will be full of zeal. Talents will appear and truth-seekers will increase daily. Although many churches put in much effort to promote this communal life, it is not effective. Where lies the problem? The 3 main problems are as listed. Only with diligent solving, can we see a healthy church growth.

A.     Work in this communion can be segmented and also can be integrated

Communion is an organization with life. As such, members must be allowed to grow in love (Eph 4:16) having its main goal growth in love.

Many churches do not understand the principal of communion regardless whether it is a big or small church. In a church, there are many fellowships such as working youth fellowship, middle-age fellowship, senior members’ fellowship, sisters’ fellowship, brothers’ fellowship etc. The work is segmentalised and the emphasis for each age is there. However, there is little interaction and contact between these different groups. Youth lacks the opportunity to interact with the older members and vice versa. The middle aged group also lack interaction with the young members. As such, each group functions individually. The great net of love is broken and cannot be joint together. This is a problem which the church faces in promoting fellowships.

According to the teaching of Holy Communion, the principal “For we, being many, are one bread.” although there are many members, there is only one (1) communion. This communion can encompass fellowships of different age groups. It would have both vertical and horizontal communications. Only then, would we achieve “Spiritual One Family”. This strength is not fragmentalised. This ‘Great Communion’ contains many different communions of different ages. This ‘Great Communion’ is the Family unit Fellowship. This mode of leadership can enhance both the vertical and horizontal relationship. This is “Fellowship which encompasses all”. This concept is very important. It allows the church to achieve real unity. This is to allow the truth pertaining “Holy Communion” to be lived. When we are teaching on the truth pertaining Holy Communion, this important point cannot be neglected.

Of course when the membership of the church increases, according to our needs, we can establish fellowships to cater for different age group need. These are the sub-units of the “Great Communion”. This is the main reason maintaining unity in the church.

B.     Is this communion in the same direction of our service to the Lord?

The efficacy of this communion differs from the efficacy of religious education. The primary efficacy of religious education is based on training and the secondary efficacy is service whereas the primary efficacy of communion is service and the secondary efficacy is training. As such the organization and management of the fellowship differs from religious education. As such, fellowship need not be liken to religious education classes in conducting weekly worship and common activities. Fellowship can hold services every one to two months once. Of course if time permits, fellowship services can be held weekly.

According to the teaching of the Bible, in normal divine service to the Lord is the basis of such fellowship. The content of service to the Lord encompasses most divine work in the church e.g. to establish the spiritual kinship, members of the fellowship must pro-actively be concerned for each other, having mutual visiting, reception work. To be rooted in our spiritual nurture, members of the fellowship must learn how to share the truth and teachings of the bible, how to intercede. In order to serve like a good steward, members must learn how to help each other, how to participate in planning for divine work, how to cultivate talent, how to assist in divine work according to our gifts such as evangelical, pastoral, counseling, literary works etc. to allow members to grow continuously in their divine service.

C.     Will fellowship make organization more simplified?

The organization of a fellowship should be conducted in the manner of a “family unit fellowship”; this is the simplest method of organization. A church can be divided into groups according to number of membership, in general most suitable is about fifty members per group, because each group comprises of the whole family unit both young and old. When dividing into groups we should consider how many youths and middle age members in each group able to be fully involved in divine service (the more number of members in each group to participate in divine service the better, therefore the membership of each group should not be too few.

The fellowship’s “group leader” is the main committee member, his work scope can cover many types of divine work in the fellowship, for example program coordinator, activity, care & concern, general affairs.. .etc, therefore fellowship no longer needs to have separate committees for program, activity, care, general affairs...etc. The work is led by the group leader together with all the members as a whole, to wisely utilize the talents of every member, and thus being able to achieve the aim so that every member can serve in divine work. Such organization is not only simplified, it is also flexible and effective and can truly allow everyone the opportunities to be involved in the divine service.

The position of the “group leader” is more suitable for a brother and a sister should serve to complement in the various work, because brothers and sisters play different roles:

1.        Role of brother to lead, plan, organize and train

2.        Role of sister: to assist, manage, guide and teach

Besides the different role and functions, most important is what Paul emphasized: “. . . the head of every man is Christ, and the head of woman is man...” (I Cor 11:3). If brothers can take up the responsibility of faith, then the family will be blissful, church work can be more active, but such concept is often neglected by most churches. The reason being many churches go according to man’s will that is to be too considerate towards brothers who are busy over their careers. They think that brothers should be busy over the livelihood of family and it will not be suitable to request them to have more divine service in the church resulting in many brothers being too tied up with the worldly work, faith is going downhill, thus beginning to cause the family to lack in blissfulness, which is also the main cause of church weakness. Therefore once again we stress that church should create more opportunities for brothers to be involved in divine service so that brothers will take up the responsibility of faith, to lead them in the growth of faith.

But the candidate of “group leader” must be selected carefully, because each member has different level of spirituality, must have the stronger ones in faith to lead the weaker ones; especially since most of the work of fellowship has to be initiated by the group leader, the suitable candidate of group leader will determine the success or failure of the fellowship.

Since the group leader has to take up the most of the important work, normally we would suggest each small group should have a group leader and an assistant group leader to co-initiate the divine work, similar to how the Lord sent out his disciples two by two for the work, the scripture says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves...” (Ecc 4: 12).

IV.  The Key Factor to Mobilize the Fellowship

According to biblical teaching, the main aim of fellowship is for spiritual nurture (1John 3.6), fellowship (Acts 2:42), mutual help (II Cor 8:4), divine service (Phil 2:5; I Cor 1:9). All these would cover most aspects of the church divine work. The details as explained as follow:

A.     Fellowship

Will fellowship ultimately lead church to become like a family unit? Today many fellowships and relationship among members are only limited to merely greeting each other which has caused unhealthy communication, therefore differences in opinions, difficulty to come to agreement, even resulting to misunderstanding, dissension will surface, lacking in the spirit of fellowship, how can then the church be like a family unit?

Between members all must become as one body, and live a life of a body, after knowing each other, through communication, concern, to reach a deeper relationship, just like what the Lord has said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mk 3:35). This is an ideal realization of “We are one family in Christ”. Such establishment of spiritual relationship is the main aim of the members’ fellowship.

Therefore, how to cultivate the establishment of members’ spiritual relationship?

1.        To stress & emphasized on getting to know each other:

The group leader must first initiate to get everyone to know each other, encourage members to really remember each other names. (Name); to acknowledge the person, so that this person will be differentiated from others. This Name will be most beautiful towards each and everyone; therefore to remember other names is the most caring deed. Therefore the group leader through prayer, to ask the Lord to grant wisdom, know how to guide each members to know each other, for example through address book or family photos, or mutual visiting, able to improve in getting to know each other, initiate the establishment the spiritual friendship.

2.        To create opportunity to get to know each other

The group leader needs to create opportunities for each other to communicate, for example to prepare tea session, love feast, to gather all the active members to stay back, to communicate with each other especially those weaker ones whom often been neglected.

When communicating with each other, the group leader needs to remind each other to always smile, able to give to others a sense of blissfulness. Smiling is not only one of the signs of self confidence, all the more it is a positive concept of life, a warm thought towards man life, also the love we have towards the outside world, although a smile is but a few fleeting seconds yet will not be forgotten by man forever. This is the lesson we have to learn.

3.        To emphasize spiritual sharing

In normal circumstances the group leader must create opportunity for sharing in spirituality, so that in normal meetings or during casual chats, can make use of the skill of “talking about a topic that interest others”, in order to open a communication channel. Such skills not only act as a ‘lubricant’, can also help us to obtain more wisdom and knowledge from others. But the topic selected should be able to edify others, therefore how we say & what we say is just as important. Just like when the person ask the Lord opinion on how to handle the issue of the adulterous woman. The Lord Jesus was very calm in reply, which later edified both parties, (Jn 8:3-9). Fellowship if can continue to improve and strengthen in this way of teaching, members will be edified greatly in spirituality.

4.        Initiative to participate in divine work.

The group leader is responsible to lead the members to take initiative to participate in all kinds of divine work, for example: to take more initiative to care about weaker members, transportation before and after service, or in work of reception, so that everyone can be more concerned about weaker members, through mutual care and concern, we will become closer to each other. Therefore in normal circumstances must encourage members to participate in all kind of divine service, so that in the midst of the participation we can cultivate the sense of responsibility.

5.        To emphasize the fellowship between small groups.

Each small group besides having fellowship in its own group must also emphasize the fellowship between other small groups as well, through love feast, tea session, outdoor activities, or through working youth fellowship, brothers fellowship, sisters fellowship, middle age fellowship, senior members fellowship activities, etc , in order for all small group members to have the opportunity to know each other, to improve the horizontal direction of the fellowship, we can bridge the gap between members of each small group.

6.        To build the spiritual relationship

Members must establish spiritual relationship which will allow the fellowship to become even more cohesive. Especially nowadays we have many members who are lone believers
or from single parent’s family, they need more care and concern, the stronger the network of loving relationship, the greater results it will bring, between members will be like blood brothers and sisters, everyone can have heart to heart talks, lost sheep will decrease.

Since the spiritual relationship is established on truth, therefore spiritual relationship should not be abused. For example, in matters of lending money, we will not make things difficult for others, if matters of financial assistance will do according to ability, treating each other with truthful heart. Therefore we will be able to practice in our daily life the spirit of not giving to others what we do not want ourselves.

B.     Spiritual Nurture

Today our evangelical resources are very abundant, we have obvious improvement especially in mass media evangelism, but the fruits of evangelism are not very good? This shows that the spiritual life of members have problems. If members do not have much experience or knowledge on the truth, members will be very weak, they have the courage to bear witness for the Lord? Therefore however good such mass media program if it is not being introduced by others, all these investment will be wasted and the fruits of evangelism will be greatly discounted. And thus the upgrade of members’ spirituality will be able to help in the work of evangelism.

When leading a fellowship we have to first ask: Does fellowship increase the quality of members’ spiritual life? Does fellowship emphasize on cultivation of spiritual life?

We have to be aware of problems arising from fellowship, but many fellowships do not know how to improve the quality of it’s members. Thus, the fellowship would often turn into a worldly knowledge session. In such situation, professionals from their respective fields would be invited to share their knowledge or even during normal service, emphasis is placed on receiving worldly knowledge instead of putting it into practical living. This does not help in spiritual growth.

If the leader can feel the spiritual weakness of his members, he can turn and improve them into better people. This is the duty of a fellowship, to place emphasis on improving one’s spiritual quality. In addition, forgiving one another and intercession enables the members to grow in the truth, this is the workings of a fellowship.

In order for the members to grow spiritually, they should have a good relationship with God, so that they will have the chance to experience the words of life. This is something which can be seen, heard and touched.

How to let the members grow spiritually?

1.        Group Study

In order for one to grow, one would need the words of life and the words of life can be obtained from the Bible. For a new believer, to cultivate the habit of reading the Bible and praying is not an easy task. If there is a group study, it is easier for the new believer to cope.

2.        Better Absorption and Receptiveness

Our believe originates from listening to the truth but if we only receives, then the effectiveness is not as good. There is a saying, “ Instead of feeding one fish, it is better to teach one how to fish”. The two way communication in a Bible study is a more effective. Thus, a bible study conducted in a fellowship can achieve this objective. A successful bible study consists of 3 main points

 a.      Practice our faith in our daily life

Through the sharing of truth, witnessing, praying for one another not only will it improves spiritual nurture, it will also help to improve the relationship of its members and create an atmosphere where the members can feel the love of one another. This will stir the members to bring more truth seekers to join the fellowship. This will edify one self and can be used to preach the gospel.

The fellowship sub-unit should emphasize practicing our faith in our daily life, thus, before leading a bible study, if we can’t summarize the contents, we should at least prepare some topics. These topics should include some explanatory questions and questions applicable to the daily life. For example, we want to study 1 John 3:11 to 15. Firstly, we ask, “We should love one another”, what is the meaning of this? (Or we can ask, “Why do we need to love one another?”), these are explanatory questions.

The next questions, “After service, we bid each other farewell, does this accomplish the objective of loving one another?” “Are there any other practical and effective ways?” These are examples of questions applicable to the daily life. These questions encourage thinking on how one should apply the truth of God in one’s daily life.

After the bible study, we can pray for the questions asked during the bible study. We can also pray for our daily matters. We can remind each other on what we prayed for from the previous bible study and we ask each other if there is any progress. If there is progress, we can ask them to bear testimony. Otherwise, we continue to encourage one another and pray for one another. By doing this, we can build up a life full of prayer. At the same time, we can let every one experience the grace of God.

 b.      Training the leader

If a church puts effort to train the leaders for a bible study, the leaders will be better prepared which will improve the effectiveness of the bible study. It will also create more leaders and allow all participants to benefit. This will stir up the members to pray, read the bible and to have a closer relationship with God. This will build up the foundation which will be a great help for the progress of the church. A good leader of a bible study knows how help the participants to apply the knowledge in their daily living. This will not only maintain the quality of the bible study, but it will also ensure continuity.

 c.      A better interaction

When the members have a good spiritual relationship with one another, then they will have a good interaction. Then, they will be willing to have bible study to be conducted at their homes. This would present the members with an opportunity to serve and receive humbly. In addition, this would also encourage the other members to offer their homes as venue for bible study. This is one of the success factor of a bible study.

3.        Helping one another

Does a fellowship encourage a sense of belonging for a member? Are the members of a fellowship selfish? Do you have a sensitive heart to be able to be sensitive in small things? When a member achieves success, we should present them will a small congratulatory gift. However, when they are weak, we need to take action to show our concern. If we have love and concern for one another, it would create a good impression for the church. Through this love and concern, it will allow members to have a sense of belonging, this is what the Lord meant by the precious teaching, giving a cup of water to the smallest brethren. Sad to say, such little actions are shouldered by the church board. Generally, most churches do not carry out such actions through a fellowship, as such, this limit the opportunity for the members to learn how to love and concern for one another. It is therefore, not surprising that the members do not have a spirit of participation in the work.

Not matter how small a matter is, if we can put our self in the other person’s shoes, we can genuinely feel what the other person is feeling and then we can show our real concern towards them. Like what is recorded in Romans 12: 15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. “This is the manifestation of loving one another, enabling every member of the church to have a sense of belonging. This is the third duty a fellowship.

The churches today should educate the members not to care for their own self but to be sensitive towards the needs of others no matter how small, helping one another, through love, that we have a mutual attraction and to attract more people to believe in Christ.

The following points should not be neglected:

 a.      Unlimited Love

The Bible says in 1 John 3:18 “let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth.” For example, in a marriage or funeral, although it is a small matter, we will manifest our love, rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Naturally, the other person will have a sense of belonging. In another example, we can present a newly baptized member with a bible or hymn book as a congratulatory gift. Likewise, we can present a gift for the newly weds as a congratulatory gift. The recipients will experience the love of the members.

 b.      Showing love and concern at the correct time

If a church directory is readily available, in whatever circumstances, we can show our concern on time. The recipients will experience more the love of the members. This will create a stronger sense of belonging.

For example, one fellowship was able to come out with a sum of money within 2 hours for a sick member that could not afford his medical expenses. The sick member was very touched by this gesture and felt like he is taken care of by his own family.

 c.      Satisfying members’ needs at the appropriate time

If the fellowship leader shows concern for each member, he would be able to know the needs of each member. He would then be able to arrange the activity in such a way that would solve the problem of a particular member and satisfy his spiritual needs.

·         Example 1

Found out that the husband and wife often quarrel, how to handle such problems? You can then arrange for a session called, “How to solve problems in marriage?” We can firstly, discuss about the problem. We can then use the sermon approach as counseling. This method is more effective.

In such activities, the participants are limited to adults only. The main purpose is to build a complete marriage life.

·         Example 2

To show concern for the elderly members, we can organize activities which suit them, for example, we can organize a health talk or honoring the old session. Such activities can be rotated among other cell groups and the leaders of each cell group should assign youths to various task. This would allow the sharing of task with the person responsible and truly achieve the objective of honoring the old.

Such activities are limited to members within a certain age group.

·         Example 3

Activities related to sisters. For example, educating our children and building a good relationship with them. Such activities can also be rotated among other cell groups. This activity can be organized by sisters and brothers can be provided assistance to shown concern.

·         Example 4

Similarly, to organize family activities for the church, sub-units will take turns to hold the activities. When there is a lack of workers, assistance from members of other sub-units can be requested. These types of activities can foster the fellowship among the sub-unit members and allow members from each sub-unit to know one another better. This is a good activity.

With the said activities, a complete and healthy fellowship would include the needs of various age groups. Whilst the planning work of fellowship activities does not solely depend on any individual, but it is through the meetings and discussions between the different sub-unit leaders. The planning should be done based on members’ needs and is truly based on the needs of different age group, only then, will it achieve the objective of a spiritual fellowship.

To be consistent with the trends of society, different types of fellowship services should be held consistently and with a variety of services is progress further. Fellowship can be held during night service, but how do we make our night service full of variety, interesting and yet edifying? Following are some of the methods we can refer to:

·         A service that imparts knowledge, for example: Discussion on how can we improvise on pastoral matters? This can highly enhance member’s ability in service.

·         A service that is filled with emotion and feeling such as “Witnessing session and hymnal sharing”. This can edify members spiritually.

·         A service that relate to matters on daily life, for example: How do we take care of members suffering from anxieties, how do we resolve the stress faced in daily life, to respond to problems faced by society on a timely basis.

·         A spiritual type of service, for example: Discussion on matters related to our faith, to have forum and discussion on spiritual activities.

These services can be taken charge by the Church Management Committee with the assistance on planning work from the fellowship sub-unit. Planning work is then to be reviewed by the Church Management Committee, which will then be carried out by person in charge of the pastoral department. As such, the quality of work can be controlled.

4.        To allow members to grow in love

A fellowship that has spiritual fellowship among its members will enable members to experience spiritual joy abundantly. This will also allow its members to express the love of Christ and be attracted by this love. This love would encourage them to willingly share and witness Christ to their relatives and friends, hence, encourage more truth seekers to our church and to become part of our spiritual family and achieve the objective of proclaiming the gospel. This shows that the fellowship of life with emphasis on increase in love and this is the main strength for church development. (Phil 1: 5; 1Cor 1: 9; 10: 16-17).

C.     Service

Is fellowship the mover of church progress? Does fellowship have life? If the members of fellowship are filled with spiritual liveliness, they will be very involved as a whole in many different aspects of service. If the fellowship does not have abundant life, this will cause only a few members to be seen as capable and therefore required to take more tasks and one who holds many positions. The majority therefore are viewed as not being involved. How would the church grow then?

How then can the fellowship be filled with a spiritual fighting spirit?

1.        The price of love:

The person in charge of the fellowship is to remind the sub-unit leaders to pay “the price of love” when they lead their respective members. The most important task of fellowship is to stir up and interest members at various age group, if the members are able to experience love and care, then, the fellowship has already achieve 50% successful rate.

2.        Emphasis on training of talented workers

Church needs continued development; the spirit of service should never cease and therefore, there is a need to plan for training of talented workers, especially for members who are above 20 years of age, the church should the more provide them opportunity for service. The committee members of a fellowship group should be rotated yearly. This is a good method, so that new members can learn on the job and to be passed on with the baton of service.

A fellowship group is usually formed by a small group of members. Through daily observation, the leader of each group can be concern for his members, and can take initiative to understand his members and their talents. Suggests training for its members whenever necessary. Hence, according to their gifts and talents, make use of them in various aspects of divine work, just like what had been mentioned above on Fellowship, Spiritual Nurture and working together.

At times, the church can assign these fellowship groups to take turn to organize all types of activities. This will provide opportunity for the members from these groups to learn. Sub-unit leaders can assign each of its members to take up a certain divine work. Therefore, with the whole group working, they can reach the level where everyone is given a task and all tasks are being assigned.

3.        Instructions can be properly disseminated

Just as what had been described above, the Church Management Committee needs to delegate responsibility, to assign important tasks for each fellowship sub-unit to take turns to carry out their respective tasks. Before they carry out their task, members of each fellowship sub-unit also learn how to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, the respective worker suggests practical goals and plans that would have to tabled and presented to the Church Management Committee for approval. By communicating this through church publication and including on the pulpit will enable members to be more cohesive. With eager participation co-operation from all workers, tasks can be carried out in a more efficient and effective manner.

For example: The church entrusts one of the sub-unit to manage the work of organizing an Evangelical Tea Session, the leader of this sub-unit will then distribute the tasks to his group members with a detailed planned. After dissemination of information to each group member, they (group member) would know their respective role in this event and thus, carry out their respective duties responsibly in one accord.

When everyone in the sub-unit is familiar with his task, they would be less dependent on the leader; and in future, when the leader is not available, they can easily take up the responsibility of the leader and face any challenge that may arise. This will enable the church to reach a level that is filled with fighting spirit; independent, self-sustain and self manage.

4.        Channeling information from ordinary members to Church Management Committee

Members of the sub-unit can make suggestions to their leaders on matters pertaining to divine work, sub-unit leaders can then communicate these matters to the Church Management Committee members via meetings and discussions. When the Church Management Committee approves these suggestions, the members can then proceed with their suggestions. For example, if members opine that there is a transportation problem for children to attend church services and suggests to set-up a fund to purchase a church vehicle to overcome this obstacle, with the agreement from the church, they can easily overcome this matter.

All divine work that is embarked by the fellowship must be overseen and guided by the church. The sub-unit leaders must always maintain close communication with the church leaders. This will enable them to easily seek for help from the church any time. The service of fellowship should be coordinated harmoniously with the whole church such that the activities will not diverge from the church.

5.        Service would simplified

With a complete and healthy fellowship set-up, the organization of a divine service unit would be simplified. This is due to the following reasons: ­

1.        The work of Spiritual nurture has overtaken the work of home service group.

2.        The work of fellowship not only allows members to work with one another and helping each other, it also fosters their relationships and thus, the work of visiting can be reduced to a minimum level.

3.        Working with one another replaces the work of service group, counseling group and evangelical work, especially in evangelical follow up work. This is because every sub-unit has its correspondence avenue that is formed by the love of its members; therefore, there is no need to worry about no one doing follow up work on truth seekers.

4.        Service work had replaced the work of certain group such as training group, facilities group, maintenance group, information group, choir group, literature group and etc.

Many churches have the scenario of “important personnel” or “an individual hold several portfolio” in its set up. This scenario will eventually vanish. When the members work together, not only they have great harmonization, the workload of each member would be reduced, and thus increases the efficiency and productivity. This will allow members to experience the more they serve the Lord, the sweeter they grow.

V.     Conclusions:

A healthy fellowship will bring more benefits to the believers, for example:

1.       To improve individual’s spiritual growth. In a fellowship, everyone would honor the Lord and thus would regard serving the Lord as a honorable task. Therefore, one will be willing to sacrifice their own benefit for others. In this connection, selfishness, cold-heartedness, dispute would all be gone.

2.       Faith in the family can be rooted firmly: If a brother, as the head of the house is responsible for his own faith, then, any family problems, marriage problems shall be reduced. Thus, will benefit in the development of the church.

3.       Members have strong sense of belonging in the church: Because of the strong establishment of the spiritual relationship, each and every member will have sense of belonging in the church. Therefore, problem of lost ship would naturally be reduced.

4.       Talented workers would receive proper and planned training: Not only will there be smooth transition of the truth from one generation to the next generation, at the same time; the quality of speakers as well as quality of service will be raised. The church service attendants as well as rate of participation in divine work will naturally improve.

5.       The initiation of evangelical work. A fellowship that is filled with love and life is one that is filled with testimonies. It is liken to the light in the dark world. Every single member will diligently invite their friends and relatives and to share this spiritual blessings with them. And they will be attracted by the love of the fellowship. The number of people who will be saved will increase daily.

6.       The church is equipped with the spiritual fighting strength: In the last days, when the church is faced with persecution, preachers will be stopped from pastoring the church. The church can still develop independently and therefore overcome the challenges of the evil one.

The wonderful testimonies mentioned above, allows us to understand the importance of the success and failure on the development of the church that it depends on whether it is driven according to the truth in the bible. If the fellowship can grow healthily, we can foresee the wonderful future development of the church.

Publisher: True Jesus Church