What Is a Fellowship & Why Should I Come? September 27, 2021


Two weeks from today we will begin the 2021 Southwide Baptist Fellowship in Raleigh, NC. I am honored to serve as the moderator for this year’s gathering and would like to personally invite you to join us Monday-Wednesday, October 11-13. Pastor Tim Rabon and the Beacon Baptist Church family are excited about hosting us for these special days together.

Tammy and I are looking forward to seeing many friends at the meeting, and we would be honored by your presence. Our greatest prayer is that the presence of God will be known. That is the source of real refreshing. The first time the word refresh is found in the New Testament it is connected to Him – “the times of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). We all need a time of refreshing right now!

What Is a Fellowship?

The Southwide Baptist Fellowship is not a fellowship of churches. We believe that churches should be independent, and while congregations can certainly fellowship and work together, New Testament churches do not join outside organizations. Each local church is to be autonomous.

This fellowship is an annual gathering of Christian workers who come together for the purpose of encouraging one another in the work of the Lord. Our goal is to edify one another for the advancement of the mission Christ has called us to fulfill.

Like the early believers we fellowship around the person of Christ, the Word of God, and prayer (Acts 2:42-47). This is why every meeting is designed to lift up the Lord Jesus, to get us into the Scriptures, and to call us to seek His face in prayer. 

In these perilous times we need one another and we all need the Lord! Fellowship means more than having a meal together. It is what we have in common. In the little letter of Philemon Paul identified three aspects of fellowship that are still true today. We are:

  • Fellow laborers (Philemon 1, 24) – we have been called to the same work, the work of the gospel.
  • Fellow soldiers (Philemon 2) – we are in the same fight, the good fight of faith.
  • Fellow prisoners (Philemon 23) – we are enduring similar trials and increased opposition to the truth.

It is Christ that binds us together. As fellow laborers we work for the same Master. As fellow soldiers we march under the same Captain. As fellow prisoners we are helped by the same Comforter.

Even Paul knew the importance of seeing one another and he longed to be with the “fellows”! While it is easy in difficult days to withdraw from others and isolate ourselves, our need is to be “exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). This is our theme and this is our goal.

Who Is the Fellowship For?

Pastors, evangelists, missionaries, staff members, and Christian workers from a wide range of ministries will be present. Deacons, church members, volunteers – all will be helped by the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, along with many resources that will be available. The meeting is open to everyone and the entire family will be blessed by it.

Would you join me in asking God to minister deeply to His servants in this meeting this year? 

A fellowship is not an institution, and we are praying that it will be much more than just another conference. How we long to meet with God! I know these are going to be wonderfully refreshing days together and I want to encourage you to come. 

If you have not yet registered you may do so now at southwidebaptist.org. 

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