Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Josh Rivers

It’s Coming…

Toronto Pastors Fellowship

Toronto Pastors Fellowship

One of the things I’m super-excited to be involved with this Autumn is the Toronto Pastors Fellowship. It’s a ministry to pastors of various denominations in and around the GTA.

We’ll be meeting monthly for the presentation of a paper geared at admonishing and encouraging pastors. After the paper there will be refreshments, then a Q&A session. The whole thing is designed to increase and enhance the fellowship that pastors in our area are able to have with other pastors.

I think I can say without bias (although I did have input into how it was put together) that this year’s lineup of speakers looks phenomenal; as do the topics they’ll be speaking on.

One of my favourite things in life is getting stuff for free (and I get the impression I’m not the only pastor like that). Thanks to the amazingly gracious offer of Sovereign Grace Ministries, we’ll be able to give away free stuff to all the pastors who come to the first few meetings! And it’s not just any stuff… it’s great stuff that I would love to get my own hands on!

We’re hoping to have a website set up very shortly for the Pastors Fellowship, and it will have all the lowdown on speakers, as well as the papers which will be downloadable in audio or in written form. I’ll write more about it then, and link to it as well.

In the meantime, I’ll post a sneak peak of the schedule that we’ll be running, Lord willing, this year.

Toronto Pastors Fellowship Schedule

Toronto Pastors Fellowship Schedule

Special thanks to Josh Rivers as well for all his work on putting together a logo for us. He’s an absolute pleasure to work with!

Fellowship

When our TAG (‘Truth Application Group’) finished up last week we were sharing with each other what we had learned through the group and during the time period of the group. For me, the answer had several parts, but one of the main things that I’ve been thinking about since we started meeting (and one of the things that’s been the greatest blessing to my heart!) is the topic of fellowship.

Too many people use the word and never think about what it means. ‘Fellowship’ is roughly synonymous with ‘participation’; in fact, one Greek word is translated as either ‘fellowship’ or ‘participation’ throughout the NT. To have fellowship, then, means something like ‘to participate in something along with another person who is also participating in the same thing.

Christian fellowship is even more specific, though. 1 John teaches that because we’re in Christ, we have fellowship with God (within the life of the Triune God himself). We have fellowship with one another, then, when we each participate in the life of God and share that experience with each other so that each of us can better experience the life of God (by sharing the other’s experience of the life of God).

That’s all really wordy and convoluted, so I asked my cousin and really cool graphic designer, Josh Rivers, to do a little graphic for me. It’s below.

What I want to highlight from the above picture is this: shared life experiences does not equal fellowship. Just having things in common in this life (ie. being the same age, same marital status, same life stage, etc.) is not fellowship. Fellowship is sharing in each other’s experience of the life of God. It is necessarily God-centred and God-focused.

The lesson from that is this: If we choose our Christian friends the same way the world chooses their non-Christian friends (ie. how are you like me? what earthly things do we have in common? are we the same age / gender? do you have the same interests?) we’re missing out on more than just fellowship with each other. We’re missing out on wonderful, new experiences in the life of God. What a shame!

Below is another graphic from Josh. This one simply shows how as each one grows closer to God and experiences more of his life, it increases the true fellowship that each person can have with each other.

Do you want to be a good friend to a brother or sister? Grow closer to God and you will be inviting them into the life of God, revealing God to them. This is the essence of friendship.

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