Monday, February 9, 2009

6 Purposes of the Church --Number Four

Well, three down and three to go! This week we looked at FELLOWSHIP. There is probably no term in the Christian "language" that is more abused than fellowship. What is fellowship? To many, it is a warm fuzzy feeling that soothes your nerves and provides relief from the battering of everyday life. To others, it is simply the social aspect--good food, or a good time at a retreat. Fellowship is so much more than that.

Fellowship is a participation of people together in God's grace. It means you have something in common. Common participation by giving what you have to another person or receiving what he or she has. It is a community where individuals willingly share what they have. They support one another and they bear each others burdens.

The reason for fellowship is to help each other grow in Christ. We are to encourage each other to live for Jesus. We are called to belong--not just believe. Just as parents work with their children to prepare them for life outside of the family, we are to equip each other for works of service, to lift up the fallen, and to encourage the downcast.

People to live with is a basic human need. Fellowship not only gives us people to live with, it gives us the encouragement of a family. Fellowship gives us support in times of need. When God grants us the gift of true fellowship joyful sharing replace polite "small talk." We discuss the things that really matter. We can express our greatest fears, hardest temptations, and deepest joys.

Fellowship is based on our relationship to Jesus. Fellowship is a very important purpose of the church. It is fellowship that people will be attracted to when they actually see it. If people don't see our congregation as one with a heart and a purpose, they will never feel the need to become a part of us.

So, how about you? Are you a part of a fellowship of believers, or just a group of people that get together for an hour each week?

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