9. Leadership must value fellowship highly and protect it, otherwise, it will be supplanted by lesser things.

We’ve been saying this repeatedly above, so I’ll not belabor it here. Except to point out that those “lesser things” which will crowd out the fellowship will all be good things – festivals and pageants and concerts and revivals. When we get caught up in the busyness of church life to the point that we no longer have time to meet another couple for coffee or invite another family over for pizza, we’ve become too busy for our own good.

10. God loves it when His children laugh.

It is not good for man to be alone, He said (Genesis 2:18). I suggest He had more in mind than marriage. We need one another.

When my wife, Margaret, and I celebrated our golden anniversary, we gathered our children and their families for a long weekend (They live in several states and see each other rarely.). Over those four days, as everyone milled around in the back yard or on the patio, I was often struck by the delightful noise of the laughter and fun. The love was so thick you could cut it with a knife. As the father of this terrific family, that was better to me than any present on earth.

Throughout the New Testament, our Lord and the apostles emphasized the one-anotherness of our discipleship. We are to love one another, encourage one another, edify one another, teach and instruct and rebuke and correct and affirm one another. In their book One Anothering, Al Meredith and Dan Crawford identified 31 different commands of this nature throughout the New Testament and gave us a chapter on each.

When the Lord saves us, He puts us into a church fellowship. When we love Him, we treasure His people and enjoy being with them. When we grow resistant to the Lord, we find ourselves resenting other believers, growing critical of them, and drifting away.

Asked what they missed most during the isolation of the pandemic, most Christian people admitted they missed the fellowship: getting together, hugging, visiting, working, and playing. We need that. God made us this way.

This article originally appeared on joemckeever.com. Used with permission.