BUILDING A FELLOWSHIP
Dallas Willard (1935-2013) wrote, “The most important thing about our fellowship with other disciples is that Jesus, the Trinitarian presence, should be in our midst. For that, we must meet “in his name” (Matthew 18:19) that is, we meet for his purposes, with his resources, and in his presence. This will no doubt require some serious readjustments, given how “church” is generally practiced today. But it can be done if you and I are willing to walk with Jesus in doing it and not get caught up in superiority and in condemnatory comparisons as we look upon those around us—and especially upon those who do not agree with us or even attack us.
If we come together in this way, Jesus’s idea of evangelism and “mission” will fall into place: “I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23). As Frank Laubach says: “The simple program of Christ for winning the whole world is to make each person he touches magnetic enough with love to draw others.” If we grow our fellowship in this direction, it will naturally affect those around us, whether in the fellowship or not. This kind of love and the “Presence” go with us wherever we go. They cannot be hidden. A “missional church,” in a wording often used today, is actually one that cannot be stopped from increasing, because it grows by contiguity—skin on skin.”
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Jesus