Although it is important for each of us in Christian Community to come away and receive His counsel in His presence it is also as vitally important that we then come together in fellowship with each other and the group as a whole is made to benefit from each individual’s private fellowship with the LORD. Does this mean we are having a share fest of His personal business with us? Not necessarily. Most of the time what is in private is just that, private; but in leadership roles at least those private times may also yield instruction and guidance for the group as a whole.
We know that Jesus was often away in private before the Father, and that in those private time He was instructed as to what next. We know this because of His telling statement about that He, the Son of Man could do nothing of His own accord without that first the Father showed Him what He, The Father, was doing. In this manner Jesus then could relay instruction to the disciples.
When He detoured to Samaria, that would have come as instruction from a time alone in prayer. What came of His chat with the woman at the well, was fulfilled when Philip the Evangelist went through and preached the Gospel, and the apostles came through and found the Holy Spirit disposed to “fall” on the Samaritans as He had on themselves.
Most folks would call this “having church” but fellowship can be as basic and community prayers during the day. In large and small groups, as a whole or in departments, as it were, the keystone of Christian Community is communication to the Headship which is Christ.
It is also important that we listen to one and another. If we just talk and prophecy and share we fail our brethren in now listening to what they have to say. They may have the one piece of the puzzle that the whole group is looking for or the one piece of information towards a strategy to deal with a problem the group faces. If as each person is heard and each sharing is discerned, as a group, answers come, issues get settled, problems get solutions and with the issues and problems of communal life in Christian Community, there will be many.
I mentioned that each sharing should be heard and DISCERNED. For we know out adversary is out not only to devour the soul but also to get the victory over us in trickery and deceits. So then, in the private time we need to draw close to God that He may draw close to us and there learn of Him and His word that the lies of the Enemy may become painfully apparent when in group.
As Bonnhoeffer suggested it is at the table of fellowship that discussions most often flow. It is also at the place of community worship and the study of the Scriptures by the group as a whole that issues and problems may find answers and solutions. Ours is to be ever vigilant as to will of God for every member of the Community, for the sake of the community as a whole.
So then whether private or corporate fellowship with Christ our headship is not an option.