Key Verse for 2019:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
I John 1:1-5
This year at CityLights, we want to focus on FELLOWSHIP in three areas -
Experience biblical fellowship with God and others by attending weekly Sunday gatherings.
Enjoy biblical fellowship with God and others through weekly Fellowship Groups.
Encourage biblical fellowship with God and others by reaching out to those outside the family of God to see others come to faith in Jesus Christ.
What is biblical fellowship?
Biblical fellowship is the sharing of life together. We experience biblical fellowship with God in that we share and experience life with God because of the work of Jesus Christ in reconciling us to the Father. We experience biblical fellowship with each other because we have been reconciled to each other and to God. We share in union with Christ as individuals as well as union with each other in Christ. In 1 John 1:3, we see this truth: "fellowship with us" and "fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." At the very basic, biblical fellowship is enjoying spiritual communion together as we enjoy spiritual communion with God. This involves partnering with each other and helping each other as we live for Jesus Christ.
Why biblical fellowship?
Biblical fellowship has many benefits. In 1 John 1, we see two benefits of biblical fellowship to our relationship with God and each other: joy and holiness. John writes that "our" joy would be made complete as we have fellowship with God and other believers. Authentic spiritual fellowship with God and one another in the basis for true joy. Not only that, John writes in verse 7 that if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another. That is to say, our holiness and fellowship go hand in hand. One can't be holy without being in fellowship with other believers, and one can't be in true fellowship with other believers without being holy.
How can we experience fellowship with God and others this year?
One of the most important ways to live out 1 John 1 together is by consistently attending the weekly gathering on Sundays. The gathering is often referred to as one "means of grace" that God provides in order to experience fellowship together as we gather under the preached Word of God, celebrate communion, and worship God corporately.
Fellowship Groups, formerly Community Groups, are designed to provide spaces where we can grow together in maturity in Christ as we experience biblical fellowship together by praying together, studying the bible together, helping keep each other accountable and encouraging each other, and enjoying friendship. Although this is not meant to be one's only means of fellowship or community in a given week, it is designed to help us grow together.
Not every fellowship opportunity needs to be formal. We want to encourage members of CityLights to spend time together, go out for coffee, have dinner together, enjoy a movie, have a play date, and find opportunities to build relationships together where biblical fellowship can take place naturally. We encourage each person at CityLights to devote one night a week to gather with someone from CityLights to spend time together to build relationships.
In addition to the Sunday gathering and Fellowship Groups, it is our desire to use various events, whether potlucks, prayer meetings, picnics, classes, outreach, and so on as spaces to intentionally build biblical fellowship. We invite everyone that is a part of CityLights to utilize these times not merely to have a good time but to experience and enjoy authentic biblical fellowship with fellow members of the body.
We look forward to pursuing fellowship with you and God this year!