The Friends of Jesus Fellowship has been holding regular gatherings in Barnesville, Ohio – one in the fall and another in the spring – for several years now. These gatherings are times for encouragement, equipping, and to be reminded that we are all part of a greater whole. We are members of the living body of Christ together, and wherever we gather is a beachhead of his kingdom. Small and scrappy as we may be.
Something amazing is emerging. A new life and energy is bubbling up. New possibilities beyond what we can see now. We’re being broken open to God and one another, creating space for real transformation.
At our Fall Gathering this month, the power of the Holy Spirit was active and present with us, causing stirrings the likes of which I had never seen among Friends before. We experienced an atmosphere of deep worship and prayer, facilitated through shared meals that we prepared together, singing in a variety of styles, and teaching on our theme, Go and Make Disciples!
The question of how to make disciples was a timely one for us. We are beginning to dig deeply into the practical work of inviting, accompanying, and equipping others to walk in discipleship to Jesus. Holding beliefs about God is relatively easy, and having transcendent peak experiences even more so, but steadfastly choosing to follow Jesus through the highs and lows, through assurance and doubt, is a tall order. Yet, for those of us who are being drawn together as Friends of Jesus, this is a challenge we feel compelled to embrace.
We are not alone. Jesus walks with us in a tangible way. He is teaching us to be a supportive fellowship, sustaining one another in this life of adventure and holy surprises. We come alive as we accept the challenge. The power of the Spirit fills us with joy and peace that can transform lives.
We have heard the message that we can only baptize others if our own lives are cups running over, splashing those around us with love and grace. It is only when we are being filled by the whole-grain goodness of the living gospel that we can share it with others. When we die to ourselves, we discover a way to new life in Jesus.
We can invite others into this new life.
I want to personally invite you to attend the next Friends of Jesus Gathering, which will take place this coming March. If you’ve been thinking of Friends of Jesus as a community out there that doesn’t include you, think again. Something new and exciting is happening here, and everyone is invited to participate.
Are you ready to be part of a movement that rekindles the fire of the early church? Do you long to be filled with the same audacious joy and power that the early Quakers (or Methodists, or Pentecostals…) lived in? Do you feel the Spirit’s call to participate in this new thing that is emerging in our time?
You are invited.
More details soon.
In hope and peace,