It was around 9 years ago when my husband and I were first invited into a Christian community. We were in Singapore back then, and I must say that it’s an encounter that totally changed our lives.
We spent the entire afternoon with them at the park, and we were just so glad that we accepted their invitation. They were remarkably friendly, and it felt surreal that there were a bunch of people who were very interested in welcoming a couple who neither had family nor friends in that foreign country.
We came to receive Christ as our Saviour through that church. As years passed by, I began to realise that a gospel-centred church is not just a place where you go, it’s a family you belong to. We grew spiritually together, worshipped together, consistently encouraged one another and faithfully prayed for each other. We loved and cared for one another as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us (John 13:34). We reciprocated love not just in words or talk but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).
There were variations in opinions along the way, but it certainly made our relationships stronger and we came to know each other more deeply.
As the church is made up of humans, no one is perfect. Misunderstandings are inevitable, but as Christ-followers, we can give grace just like we freely received it from the Lord. Nicky Gumbel perfectly put it into words when he said, “We have been forgiven so much that nothing we forgive compares to the amount we have been forgiven.”
Christian fellowship exists because God has enabled it by his grace. Those who believe the gospel are united in Spirit through Jesus Christ to the Father, that unity is the basis of fellowship. This relationship was described in 1 John 1:3, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” The term “perfectly one” is the oneness that Christians experience in true fellowship, oneness with one another, with Jesus Christ and with the Father. Just as the Father is in Jesus, so is Jesus in us, and we have solidarity because of the uniqueness of that relationship.
We supported each other through different seasons in our lives, especially during trials. We battled together in prayer and we rejoiced for every answered prayer. Galatians 6:2 encouraged us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ”.
When God widely opened the door for our family to move to Australia, it was a bittersweet moment. Australia has a plethora of breathtaking sceneries, vast lands, stunning beaches and diverse, delectable cuisines but despite that, we missed the relationships that we had in Singapore. We passionately prayed that apart from our relatives here in Australia, God would also bless us with the same kind of relationships which we had in Singapore—a deep, profound eternal mutual bond with other believers through the body of Christ. As God is amazing and faithful beyond words, he answered our prayers through the lives of the people we are currently sharing our lives with!
Why should a person consider Christianity? Because it’s more than a social club—it’s a family! Christian fellowship is so different from secular relationships. It is a genuine, deep, profound and eternal mutual bond among believers. There is perfect unity because God enables it by his grace!
So, when you want someone in your life to consider Christianity, expose them to your Christian relationships. They will notice the difference!