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Why Fellowship Bands?

One of my favorite TV series is Band of Brothers. It’s a fascinating World War II story that follows “Easy Company”, which is the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army.  Band of Brothers is obviously a dramatized film, however, what it does remarkably well is connect you to the actual story. Before each episode starts the filmmakers interview the actual men portrayed throughout the series. They give their story first hand of the horrific battles, life as a soldier, and their deep friendships.

What becomes clear throughout the series is how loyal each soldier is to the other. There’s no doubt of this after hearing their stories and watching the series unfold. Each soldier of “Easy Company” would, without question, sacrifice their life for their fellow soldier. When I watch their reckless devotion to one another it stirs up a question deep within me, “Do I have friends like that?” Or better yet, “Would I sacrifice my life for my friends?”

Two years ago I joined my first band. I had never been a part of a group like this before. Throughout my life I have been involved in various small groups, bible studies, and prayer groups. However, I found something different to an Inspire fellowship band. I believe the key difference is the end goal of a band, becoming more like Jesus. More specifically, though, Inspire bands, through the guidance of each member, help you become more aware of the Spirit’s leading in your life and how to live out your call as Jesus’ disciple. Bands have awakened me to the simplicity of having spiritual conversation! I’ve been in far too many Christian groups/activities that never ask simple questions like, “Where have you seen God recently?”, “What do you feel like the Spirit wants you to do in that situation?”, or “How are you really doing right now”?

So why join a fellowship band? For many of us Wilmore is a stepping stone to the next thing in life. Some of you will go on to pastor churches, serve in mission organizations, or other non-profit ventures. I beg you to not treat your time in Wilmore as a checklist, but rather a training ground for battle. Before heading off to war the men of “Easy Company” rigorously trained for battle against the German Army. So too should we treat our time in Wilmore. Paul reminds us we “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). We need to prepare ourselves for spiritual battles both now and down the road.

Wilmore can be like the wilderness was for Jesus. Jesus fled into the wilderness after his baptism and was tempted by the devil. More importantly, after he overcame the devil and left the wilderness, it says he was, “filled with the Holy Spirit’s power” (Lk. 4:14). Don’t leave Wilmore without being filled with the Spirit!

I’ve become convinced the past few years I need my band to flourish as a disciple of Jesus. They not only help open my eyes to what the Spirit is doing in my life, but more importantly they are friends who would sacrifice everything for me. They have my back and I have theirs! This is the love Jesus talked about when he said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13).

My prayer is that you’ll learn the beautiful nature of fellowship bands and that you’ll lean into your short season in Wilmore. Like the men of “Easy Company” my hope is you’ll have stories to tell of Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness in your life.



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