When I was growing up, my brother and I would arrive at services long before any other young people in our congregation. We would arrive early to help set up the hall. After the set up was completed, the group of adults would stand in a circle, fellowshipping over a cup of coffee. Since there was no one else to talk to, we would join them.
When we were young, we did not contribute much to this conversation. As we got a bit older, we received our own Styrofoam cup of Folgers coffee. With coffee in hand, we would occasionally join in the conversation, but we were always listening. They would discuss world events, Bible prophecy, doctrine and, eventually, doctrinal changes. Every Sabbath, I received a wonderful spiritual meal through this 45-minute fellowshipping session. These conversations were helpful for a young person who had a lot to learn.
What is your Sabbath fellowship like? Are your conversations something that God would feel comfortable inviting a new member to join? When new people are invited to services, they need to experience fellowship with like-minded brethren. This includes teens!
On the Sabbath, we should strive to have “feed my lambs”-quality fellowship (John 21:15). This should be a focal point of each Sabbath day.
Malachi 3:16 says, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”
In Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today, Gerald Flurry writes about this verse: “Why a book of remembrance? … It is a special book which concerns a unique group of people who fear the Eternal and fellowship a lot.”
On the Sabbath, our conversations need to be filled with God and His things. One way we drink in spiritual knowledge is through good Christian fellowship. Prospective members need that as well.
Instead of congregating in teen circles, go fellowship with adults and baptized members on the Sabbath. You will learn a lot in those conversations.
Isaiah 58:13-14 say, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
If your Sabbath fellowship is really the quality that God wants it to be, He will bless you for it. Here are a few specific points to keep in mind about Sabbath day fellowship:
1. Prepare for fellowship.
We do not want to have average, everyday conversations on the Sabbath. We should be praying, studying and occasionally fasting during the week—but we should also be praying specifically about our fellowship on the Sabbath. Study about fellowship, and have your mind on it going into the Sabbath day.
2. Discuss the messages.
Use the time after services to discuss what the ministers talked about during services. Discuss the specific points they covered. Edify one another, and help build each other up.
3. Share points about your personal life.
Beware of getting drawn into the everyday events in your life, but it is good to share trials and blessings with one another. Be careful of being overly negative, though, and always strive to keep God in the picture. Talk about the miracles that have happened along with the problems you’ve faced.
4. Talk about new revelation.
We have been given so much new revelation. Talk about it!
5. Talk about the literature.
Discuss the books and booklets you have been studying recently. Make sure you aren’t trying to promote yourself, but be ready to give an answer if you’ve studied something and know the answer.
The ministry received a lot of instruction on our responsibility in feeding the lambs at the most recent ministerial conference. You have a responsibility as well. We need strong congregations with spiritually strong teens. Work on your fellowship—make it “feed my lambs”-quality. If you do, you will show God that you are a Philadelphian.