One of the most famous speeches in American history was by John F Kennedy in 1961. He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
It was a call to community, to think about something more than just your own individual needs.
Thinking about faith, I’d like to substitute the word “fellowship” for “country.” Ask not what your fellowship can do for you—ask what you can do for your fellowship.
In the New Testament, the word “fellowship” has a few different implications: (a) getting together with other believers, (b) coming together because of a common bond (the resurrected Jesus), and (c) contributing to the well-being of the group.
So the reason I play on JFK’s dictum is because the community of faith is something you need to contribute to—not just receive from.
Should you be fed? Yes. But you also need to feed. Should you be blessed? Yes. But you also need to bless.
Since we live in a consumeristic society it’s easy to treat the church like any other product which exists to serve us and make us happy. As a result, the church (God’s fellowship) can seem optional. But can you imagine what Jesus or the apostle Paul would have said about that?
I’m reminded of Hebrews 10:25: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…”
I simply invite you to ponder this statement seriously, and to prayerfully think through how you might respond as a part of Christ’s body here on earth:
Ask not what your fellowship can do for you—ask what you can do for your fellowship.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Curious about what’s happening this Sunday at Westminster? It’s Part 2 in our series about the collapse of community in our society (and what to do about it). Read more here.
- Up is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on May 8th.