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Harbingers Series*

 

Intentional Christian Fellowship
 
har·bin·ger - a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another. (google.com)

 

 
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"Refresh" - Last Revised 10/3/14
 
 
 
Printable Format as a PDF or WORD
 
ICF
 
Intentional Christian Fellowship
 

THE IMPERATIVE

   

Not only do we need to be prepared to function well as the Church in the absence of present “church” models, it is likely that as our culture and our courts continue in their present direction Christians will increasingly be treated unjustly in our schools, jobs, businesses and our neighborhoods. We must be able to support and encourage each other.

       
 

ICF

   

INTENTIONAL - Christians say to each other, “Hey, we need to get together some time,” and then promptly forget about it. It has never been as important as it is now and it won’t happen unless it is intentional.

   

CHRISTIAN - We have dual citizenship, i.e. in the Kingdom of God and as Americans. The two identities are increasingly contrary to each other and we need to help each other remain faithful to our higher calling.

   

FELLOWSHIP - The true meaning of the word implies actually becoming “partners in this pilgrimage” with each other as in Koinonia Is - -. Such fellowship replaces our present “high fives” with fingers interlocked.

       
 

ICF can occur in a stand-alone, one-time event with randomly selected people, or in a series with identified participants in which case it can become an ICF Group. It can be an altogether informal yet purposeful gathering of friends for a cookout or even a work project for example, or a more focused study time. If it is truly "ICF" it will in every case include meaningful connecting with each other, and that will usually require someone's initiative.

       
 
Each ICF Group will have its own culture based on several variables including:
 
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Is it a highly committed or even a closed group, or is it something quite open where people come and go - possibly predictable in terms of time and place but less so in terms of participants?
 
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Is it open ended, or will it continue for a defined period of time which could be extended by agreement?
 
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Praise and worship? Style, leadership?
 
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Balance of informal fellowship and deliberate study, which can vary from one gathering to the next.
 
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Study material. Portions of scripture; topical study; book studies; leader prepared studies?
 
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Leadership style? (Every purposeful group of humans needs some sort of servant-leadership)
  - Functioning as a body according to I Cor. 12, including the operation of the gifts of the Spirit?
 
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Food. Snacks, a simple meal, or nothing at all?
 
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Children. Will children be invited, and if so will they be included in the larger group or have separate activities or care, and who will be responsible for them?
 
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Meeting place and time?
  - Relationship to outside spiritual eldership and/or to other bodies of believers?
   
 

More on the need for, shape of, and benefits of intentional Christian fellowship
can be found in
The Cosmic Battle and the American Christian, Parts IV through VII.

       
 

Ken Stoltzfus, 10/3/14 Draft

 

 * Here’s a bottom-line thought. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by viewing American and world events as a wake-up call. If Christian-Americans were to take this to heart the resultant repentance and new Life would make us more like the people God always intended us to be. This would extend the time of God’s grace upon America; and/or empower us to stand firm and to serve Him effectively through difficulties. If such difficulties are only imagined by some (like me), we would have become a more authentic and vibrant Church and would have enjoyed God in an incredibly richer way. Regardless, we win. And regardless, it would be another proof that all things, even evil, ultimately serve the Lord our God! - Isaiah 46:9-10 - II Peter 3:8-9

 
     
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