Building A Front Porch Fellowship

When you read the title, I’m sure your first response was, “Huh?!”. And rightly so! Let me explain…

We live in a society were I can develop “friendships” all around the world. They are a thousand miles wide but only an inch deep. We have every means of communication at our finger tips. We have a plethora of apps and gadgets that give us the capability to talk with people on other continents and around the world. It only takes a cell phone and you can facetime with someone two states away or half way around the world. And, with all this technology, we find ourselves alone and without friendships. Why?

Modern human existence has lost the “neighbor next door” touch where they use to sit of an evening on the front porch and sip lemonade or a cup of coffee while talking about the day to day existence. Busyness has become such a plague that we feel guilty if we stop long enough to have lunch with a neighbor. Money, position, prestige, and the pressure on parents to have their kids in every sport known to mankind…all of which keeps us running until our physical and mental state is so ragged that we don’t know if we are coming or going.

It’s no wonder that so many are serving God so half hearted…because there is no peace or rest…so many are so wore out, they don’t really know what to do. And…many start with giving up on the things that matter most…Godly habits fall apart and spiritual decay sets in.

I have spoken to many ASR members and former members…and this spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional fatigue has way too many fighting for their very life. So, I’m extremely aware that we need a huge dose of Holy Ghost Rest in our midst. Not a giving up…stopping what we are called to do…not a walking away from that which matters most, but a God given focus that helps us set all the other weights aside so that we can truly rest.

Isaiah 28:11-12, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

There is a rest and a peace that we should be more acquainted with, but, because of our busyness, we are failing in relationships, most are not hearing the voice of the Lord clearly, and many are dying spiritually. There should be a continual flow of rest and refreshing in a Holy Ghost filled life. But…who will hear?

One area that we find this lacking is in our relationships and friendships. Far too many are depressed and alone because they have not heard from fellow ASR members. I am praying that God will bring such a strong conviction upon us all that we are compelled to pick up the phone and call fellow members. Not just the 2 or 3 that we’ve always relied on…but those that we don’t know…the least of us…the one that would least expect a call or card from us.

Let us strive to “Build A Front Porch Fellowship” attitude. A spirit of fervent love one for another as 2 Peter 4:8 speaks of. Paul also writes to the church in Thessalonica this thought…

1 Thessalonians 4:9, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

It’s a topic that we shouldn’t have to talk about…but, it’s human nature to forget how important the expression of love is to the body of believers. Let ASR be a beacon of love…a family that goes beyond any worldly family ties…

Let brotherly love continue!

Strive to build a front porch attitude where you will stop long enough to fellowship with someone two or three times each week, for the sole purpose of showing how much you love them.

To be continued…we will discuss again the next time we meet…until then…

Build A Front Porch Fellowship with someone…

Mark A Hardin
International Chaplain/Illinois Regional Coordinator

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