How to start a fellowship

How do we go about starting a fellowship? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a simple little formula we could apply and instantly have a fellowship? I don’t have a formula, but I do believe that, just like in planting a crop, there are certain things we can do to increase the odds for our success. No farmer would ever expect to have a great harvest if he merely walked into an unprepared field and tossed seeds into the air. The good farmer prepares the field, tills the soil, and properly plants the seed. His diligence in watering, weeding, and fertilizing directly affects the quality and size of his harvest. I believe that, just like the farmer, there are certain fundamental things we can do to affect the success of our fellowships.

A fellowship can be any gathering of saints who come together to glorify the Father and His Son. The objective of the fellowship is “to make disciples” and help us all conform to the image of Christ. That gives us a lot of latitude for activities and options that can be called a “fellowship.” A fellowship does not have to be a teaching fellowship; it could be a prayer fellowship, a music fellowship, a healing fellowship, or whatever else you think of; however, all fellowship activities should direct us to Christ.

During the past few years, I’ve found that prosperous fellowships have a few common elements, which I’ve listed below. Let me know if you have others that I’ve overlooked.

1. Have a nucleus of at least two committed partners. I believe it is very important to team up with others who share the same vision and heart for the success of the fellowship. This is not to say that you couldn’t do it on your own, but it is very helpful to share the load with another. Also, there are going to be times when you feel worn down and your partner will be able to help lift you up. I’m reminded of how Jesus sent his disciples out witnessing to the towns in groups of twos. There’s a lesson in that for us to learn.

2. Stay consistent. It’s important that you set a time and place where you will be meeting, and then stick to it. Fellowships have the greatest success when they meet consistently each week, on the same day, same time, and at the same place. In general, when you meet every other week, people can get confused about which week you meet. Meeting inconsistently allows people an easy reason to talk themselves out of coming.

3. Stay Committed. Your commitment to the success of the fellowship is vital. Life has its way of popping up with all types of reasons that talk us out of meeting. I guarantee that once you make the vow to start fellowshipping, the Enemy will throw everything your way to distract you away. There were many nights when no one came but my wife, Lori, but we still faithfully sat down for prayer and reading the Word together. God must be very proud when we stay faithful to our vows for service to Him. This is another good reason why it’s very helpful to have a partner, so that if one wants to quit, the other can encourage him.

4. Pray often. I hesitate to write this as number four because it is really number one. When you begin to fellowship and serve God’s children, you have just volunteered for service on the front line of the spiritual battle, and prayer is your principal offensive weapon. You will need to pray often and fervently for your fellowship. When we first started, Lori and I would pray every day over breakfast for the fellowship, and most especially for the Lord to open doors for us to speak the Word, which brings me to the next item.

5. Talk to people. You can’t expect people to come if you don’t invite them. I know that most of us are frightened by the prospect of “witnessing” to people. I’ve tried to stop thinking of it as witnessing. Instead, I think of it as “I have something great and I want to share it with others.” Don’t talk to people with the agenda of trying to get them to your fellowship; they’ll see through that in a heartbeat. Rather, find out about them, what’s happening in their lives, what are they looking for, how can you serve them? Remember, it’s the goodness of God that leads men unto repentance. You be the vehicle by which God’s love is communicated to them.

6. Stay Flexible. You don’t want to have a lot of predetermined concepts on what your fellowship should look like. The Lord knows the needs of those around you, so stay flexible to his direction. Every human is different and unique, so stay sensitive and ready to adjust to meet their needs. I know of one person who kept trying to have a teaching fellowship, but it failed continuously. Finally, he gave up, and the Lord took it in an entirely different direction where it flourished.

7. Focus on the Goals. The purpose of fellowshipping is to promote the Good News of salvation and to make disciples (Matt. 28:18). The fellowship has to be a place to learn and grow in the Lord. You don’t have to be a teaching fellowship to avail yourself of classes, books, and tapes. Your gatherings should be promoting sound teaching and producing spiritual growth in you and those that attend. Don’t make the mistake of running a club instead of a fellowship. A club can be fun but not very profitable spiritually.

8. Just do it. Sorry to borrow the Nike phrase, but there is a lot of truth to it – “Just Do It.” We have a tendency to discount ourselves or to think that “I’ll start once I get the house in order, or learn more of the Word, or…” Well, you get the idea. We may have fear, but the only thing that causes us to fail is giving in to those fears. Our desiring to have a fellowship is a beautiful thing in God’s sight.

It melts the Lord’s heart to see you striving to serve the good news of the Gospel to the world. A primary way to do that is by taking the lead and starting a fellowship. I encourage you to drive a stake in the ground of your town, claim this soil for the Lord, and take a vow to do your best to serve the Bread of Life to your community through your new fellowship.

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36 comments

  1. I’ve contemplating starting a men’s fellowship group in our church fro 2yrs and I have been stalled but after reading this I’ll start putting thing to gather.

    Thank you, and God bless,

    Elder Kenny Vance

    1. Hi Kenny, Far too often we make it more difficult than it should be. I’ve started a fellowship a number of times and have found that the best way to do it is to merely make it friends meeting with friends to pursue a spiritual agenda. I planted the one we have now 18 months ago and after taking four months of planting seeds I announced to those I had met and befriended that we were starting . We have over 20 show up and we explained that we were focusing on following Jesus and living a life of love the way he modeled. It always seems to work when our focus is on him. The best to you,
      Dan

      1. Good thought Sir

    2. Thanks and God bless you, your wife Lori, your kids and your ministry. Going through your Holy Spirit inspired write up, i was encouraged and strengthened to start the fellowship God has me to start after my disobedient because of my lack of faith that He can supply all my needs. Pls do send my regards to everyone .around you sir. Enadeghe Lucky

      1. Wonderful News about you starting a fellowship! Where do you live and can we help promote it for you? Dan

  2. Thanks for your backup tips on starting a christain fellowship, pls send me more guildlines on forming this fellowship

  3. Wow, recently I’ve been thinking of starting a fellowship type group in my high school (im just 17) and this helps a ton. I’ve had some rough ideas of how to go about setting it up but I think these parameters and advice can help make this a reality.

  4. Hi Dan, I greet you in the precious name of King Jesus. Wonderful encouragement regarding’ Just Do It’ for Jesus. I retired 3 yrs ago from secular work, not because i was able to, but because of a mandate I believe the Holy Spirit imparted inside of me about 10 yrs ago. I simply acted because I realized that obedience is better than sacrifices. Let me tell you what we have been doing these last 2 and a half years. After much fasting and prayer we eventually got going putting some PowerPoint presentations together on generational curses and how to help people in the area of. “Deliverance” it is an area where we have victory over and we wanted to share this information with others who are struggling in this area of their spirituality . Long story short, we don’t even have to go out anymore as God is sending people in through a medical doctor, who after an examination and a clean bill of health, he tells them to contact my wife and I and we ultimately experience the joy of their deliverance as we witness how God restores and heals them. Amen God Bless. Patrick

    1. Hi Patrick, What a fantastic testimony. Keep up the good work setting the captives free.

  5. Thank God for your ministry. I have Christian prayer fellowship, but I need more help from you. God richly rewards you and bless your ministry. Stay blessed always!

  6. Hi! My name is Talia Hall. Me and some of my friends are trying to revive christian fellowship in our school. The small problem is majority of the school isn’t christian. So what can we do to influence others to join team jesus? How do we organize the club where its fun for all to come (teens)?

    1. Hi Talia, I think it is great that you are trying to initiate a fellowship at your school, and even better that the majority aren’t Christian. that means you have a great opportunity to reach people for Jesus. I would simply try to love people the way Jesus did. It is Christ in you so present him to your schoolmates. It will be the light in you that attracts others. Show them the Good News of Jesus through your life and love, and tell them how to follow him.
      Dan

  7. The LORD inspired me to start a fellowship in the parlour of my new apartment and this is the first article i landed on. It’s helpful, thank you sir.

  8. God bless you for this wonderful write ups for starting a fellowship. I have a calling of starting a fellowship but don’t know how to go about it. I also need a Mentor like you to encourage and put me through. Thanks for the good work you are doing. May God bless you, your family and ministry. God bless.

  9. wow. This is insightful because i was wandering how to start mine. God richly bless you with much wisdom.

  10. This is great so far and I would like to have more guidance and information on how to start and lead a successful fellowship, may God bless you sir..

  11. Thank you very much for your advice, I have tried many times to start something but because of time the truth is I travel alot and I also want to start a fellowship bit I don’t know how to go about it,because if I start and the time come for me to go I have to leave it and go and you can’t trust someone to take over when you come back you take in charge Again, so please pastor advice me on what to do.thank you and your wife.

    1. If you travel a lot then consider partnering with someone else when you start it. Team ministry is the best anyway. Remember T.E.A.M can stand for “together everyone achieves more.”

  12. I am just about start one fellowship, praying and believing with the knowledge I have acquired here it will florioush by God’s Grace

  13. thanks so much for your tips it will help me so much for the next step God is leading me to, Pastor Israel Thompson

  14. Thank you sir for the useful information provided. May Almighty Father continue to guide you, your wife and your children. Greatly appreciated.

  15. Good and intereting information.

  16. Thanks for the lesson,
    I am greatly bless by your instruction, accurately you had mentioned here all my needs
    once gain thank you
    God bless

  17. Thank you so much for this wonderful insight. For two years, the LORD has pressed it on me to start a fellowship in my house, I was only delaying it with the belief that I can’t do it, I was afraid. Before I read this article, earlier today, I made up my mind to start the fellowship. I prayed that God opened my mouth to preach his word and to win souls for him. I went out with fear to preach and God gave me the boldness I needed. I won two souls today for God and they all agreed to come to fellowship with me. And now I have read this article, it is a courage boost to me because I know God is doing something new. More souls will be won for Jesus. Amen. God bless you so much for blessing us.

  18. Dear Sir, I appreciate the illuminative power of GOD in you. This write up has saved of endless searching on how to start a fellowship particularly re emphasis of what some one told as regard to just do it. Thank you and GOD bless you abundantly in Jesus name amen.

  19. Thank you your insightful guidelines. Our Lutheran church has many older people and we were thinking of starting up a fellowship for young families, high-schooler/, and/or college students. This is great as our pastor’s wife wanted more information because she and her (pastor) husband had never done this before (they are missionaries in Asia until a year ago)!

  20. Hi Bro Dan , I too come to thank God for his grace in you to share how to start a fellowship for the Lord, I am seeking the Lord on who the fellowship is to be for. I know it will be for believers but I’m seeking whether for marriages, wives, or women in general. Please pray that God will reveal the answer to me by his Spirit. God bless you

  21. Hi, my name s Kojo. From Ghana in west africa. Your write-up has enboldened me to restart the fellowship i started n april but stopped because people were not coming. I”ll restart what God told me to do. Thanks.

  22. Should I belong to a church even though my fellowship is non denominational and it is always in the evening!

    1. Sounds like your fellowship is your church. A church is not a building or a special meeting place, it is the people of GOd getting togehter.

  23. There is nothing difficult like wanting to share the word of God ( Truth) but only to find that some people are not letting you to do it. I looks like people wants to keep what they know as oppose to hearing something new – especially not from an unknown jerk. Thank you so much Dan for sharing the fellowship concept with us. Sometimes one feels that people prefers lie than truth because they don’t want to let go of their own ways of worship God or gods. When I was born my parents called me Bhoyi Cebekhulu and when I discover myself 40 years later, I discover that God created me in his image and after his likeness and called me Gideon. From Gideon came Books ” The greatest life changing testimony gave us child after 14 years of marriage”, ” The true worship song is withdrawn from the bank account of adversity”, ” Altar of the Unknown God” etc. I use to travel 3 hours to church and 3hrs back for 8 years and only missed 4 services. From 19 December 2016, I started praying from home with my wife and our 8 year old daughter. I think the time is right for us to start a Fellowship rather than a church because God the Holy Spirit hasn’t said anything yet about starting a church. Otherwise, I wanted to thank you Dan and Lori for encouraging fellowship. Church need very strong, faithful and true servants of God with strong 5 fold ministry. Sometimes, the Body of Christ is the one making life difficult from true and honest servants of God because they have their own expectations. I respect true servants who keep the truth in their respective ministry.

    God bless
    Gideon – South Africa

  24. Indeed Dan your encouragement words have motivate me to back up to another face, I started a strong prayer fellowship on a years ago but due to the some situations I put on stop, but thanks be to our LORD JESUS with your blessed motivational word I will start again. May Good Lord bless you very much.Am Stephen from GHANA – KUMASi

  25. I want to start campus fellowship in university, am student the university. How can i achieve it

  26. Thanks so much for the tips but will want more particularly in my case. How do I get more? I am about starting one

  27. Thanks to you man of God for helping us.
    We are four persons that are trying to start an African Christian fellowship in a small town here in the US. So I google this morning how to start a Christian fellowship and your article came up!
    This is so very helpful. It is also a confirmation of not giving up. I lead a small prayer group in the church I attend.
    I pray that the blessings of God be with us all this year 2020!

  28. Good day sir. I appreciate God for your life reading this article on starting a fellowship. This article is one of the spirit filled and inspiring write up I have read on starting a fellowship. I have also read your response to questions and watched your youtube clips. I believe I will like to learn more from you. Am trusting the Lord to start a fellowship very soon, this article have really released faith and direction to me. I will like to know more of you . Thank you.

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