Summary: This sermon gives five reasons why fellowship is important.

Fellowship – It’s What We Do!

The Importance of Fellowship

Fellowship is the “glue” that keeps people connected to our church. According to the New Testament, fellowship is not optional for a Christian. It is mandatory! Jesus said:

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.” John 13:34 (HCSB)

How can we expect to “love one another” if we are living in isolation? Christians that are not connected in loving relationships with other believers are disobeying the commands given in God’s Word. Look at the way the Living Bible says it:

"Love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:34-35 (LB)

To ensure the health and growth of this church, a couple years ago our church came up with a purpose statement. Do you remember what it is?


Love GOD, Love PEOPLE.

Our Purpose Statement comes from the Great Commandment which says:

’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV)

Our purpose statement answers the question: Why are we here? We are here to love God and to love People. Our vision statement explains how we are to show our love to both God and to people. Do you remember what our vision statement is?


BRING them in, BUILD them up, TRAIN them up, SEND them out.

As we bring people into the church through fellowship, as we build people up through discipleship, as we train people to use their gifts, talents and personality in service to God through ministry and as we send people to witness to non-Christians through outreach we express our love for God and for people. We become “doers” of the Word and not just hearers.

Our Vision Statement comes from the Great Commission which says:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

Within the Great Commandment and the Great Commission you find the five functions of the church.

Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry and Evangelism.

As we fulfill these five functions, we express our love for God and our love for people.

We become:

CLEARER by Worship

CLOSEER by Fellowship

PURER by Discipleship

STRONGER by Ministry

LARGER by Outreach

My vision for this church is for the people of God to gather weekly for corporate worship, to get to know each other better through fellowship of small groups, to become more like Christ through Bible study, prayer, tithing and having a personal quite time, we use our gifts and talents to help each other and those around us through ministry, and to reach out to others with love, acceptance and forgiveness through evangelism.

Today I want to focus in on the importance of fellowship. Fellowship is vital for the health and growth of the church.


I want to give you five reasons why fellowship is important:

1. I BELONG in God’s family with other believers.

When I became a Christian three relationships changed.

A. Jesus became my Savior.

B. God became my Father.

C. The Church became my Family. Other believers are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Look at what Galatians 6:10 says:

"Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:10

Go ahead and circle the words “belong to the family of believers.” If you have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ – you belong in God’s family – the church. In fact the scripture teaches that Christians that are not connected in loving relationships with other believers are disobeying the commands given in God’s Word. We are to be connected to one another. Look at what Hebrews 10 says:

“Let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (HCSB)

This verse tells us that church attendance matters. It matters because it is an act of encouragement. Just being present in worship service or Sunday Bible study says, "I care." I care about my own personal spiritual growth - but I also care about the spiritual growth of other Church members - and because I care - I’ll be there to encourage them.

We are to be connected together.

Dr. Ray Orland says, "The Christian who is not committed to a group of other believers for praying, sharing, and serving . . . is not an obedient Christian. He is not in the will of God."

We belong to each other. We are all part of the body of Christ – we need each other – we are connected to one another – we belong to each other.

Have you ever thought of how incredible your body is! If you compared it to a machine – no other machine comes even close to its design, precision and functionality. Consider the skeleton system. Two hundred and six bones compose the skeleton, about half of which are in the hands and feet. Most of the bones are connected to other bones at flexible joints, which lend the framework a high degree of flexibility. No robot in the world has the mobility and dexterity of your body. The heart is the strongest muscle in the body, beating an average of 100,000 times a day. Weighing less than a pound, it pumps blood through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body. No wonder the Word says we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Each part of the body is there to keep you alive. Each part of the body is interconnected. Each part of the body is designed for a purpose. So is the body of Christ – we belong to each other.

"So in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others!" Romans 12:5

The second reason we should be concerned about fellowship is:

2. Christ is PRESENT when we fellowship together.

When we meet together – when we fellowship together – because of the saving relationship we have with Jesus – something special takes place.

"For wherever two or three have come together in my name, I am there, right among them!" Matthew 18:20 (GN)

Let me give you some insight into this verse. For a long time I thought that this verse was only referring to worshiping with other Christians – but it’s not. The truth is that this passage is talking about whenever we get together in Jesus name – something special takes place – Jesus is there too. When we worship – when we pray – when we conduct business – when we eat together – when we come together to enjoy each others company – something special takes place. Jesus is with us.

“Wherever” we gather together because of the relationship we have with Jesus Christ – He is there with us. Something unique takes place – something special happens – Jesus shows up. Christ is present when we get together – in His name.

God never intended there to be “Lone Ranger” Christians. Even Jesus sent the disciples out “two by two.” God never intended us to loners. Remember even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. God has always intended for His people to live in community together. Look at Ephesians chapter one with me:

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5a (NLT)

We are to be the family of God. Remember – something special takes place as we fellowship together - Jesus shows up.

"For wherever two or three have come together in my name, I am there, right among them!" Matthew 18:20 (GN)

A third reason we should be concerned about fellowship is:

3. Fellowship is a WITNESS to the world.

Read along in John 17 with me:

Jesus said, "My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind .. so the world will believe You sent me." John 17:21(LB)

Go ahead and circle the words “so the world will believe”. Part of the purpose of fellowship is that it is a witness to the world. We are to display our unity and love for each other and by doing so the unchurched will know that we have a relationship with Jesus. John 13 says this:

“By this shall all know that you are My disciples, if you love one another – if you keep on showing love among yourselves.” John 13:35 (AV)

Fellowship is a noun but it is also a verb. We are a fellowship. We have the same Father. We have the same Savior. We have been cleansed by the same blood – that makes us family. But we are also to be practicing fellowship with one another. I am to be treating you with love and you are to treating me with love also.

What is love? It is action rather then emotion. It is being patient with one another. It is treating each other with kindness. It is being forgiving. It is letting go of the grudges that you hold. It is watching out for each other and seeking the best for each other. That’s what Paul said love was in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen. Love is acting in love to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. And when we act in love to one another – we have fellowship with one another – and we are a witness to the world. The world will see that we are followers of Christ because of the love we have for God and for each other. Love God - Love People. Fellowship is a witness.

The fourth reason I should be concerned about fellowship is:

4. I grow SPIRITUALLY through fellowship.

Fellowship allows me to do the “one anothers” of scripture. You know what I’m talking about. Throughout the New Testament we are given “one another” things to do. Serve one another, greet one another, accept one another, forgive one another, love one another, honor one another, teach one another, encourage one another, etc.

Fellowship gives me the environment to fulfill the laws of God. Fellowship allows me to put the “one anothers” into practice. And do you know what – when I put God’s Word into practice – not only are other people helped – I grow spiritually as well.

I can not fulfill the “one anothers” in isolation. There are over 30 “one anothers” in scripture. In your notes you will see a partial list of the "one anothers". God expects us to grow spiritually.

The "One Anothers" of Fellowship

Serve one another - Galatians 5:13

Accept one another - Romans 15:7

Forgive one another - Colossians 3:13

Greet one another - Romans 16:16

Honor one another - Romans 12:10

Teach one another - Romans 15:14

Submit to one another - Ephesians 5:21

In fact His Word tells us to:

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)

We grow spiritually in the grace and knowledge of Lord by being “doers” of His Word – and not just hearers. Fellowship enables us to grow spiritually.

The final reason we should be concerned about fellowship is:

5. Fellowship is something I will be doing for ETERNITY.

Folks, here is a fact. If you know Jesus as your savior – we will be together in Heaven for a long – long time. We will be together for eternity. How long is eternity? I can’t even imagine – but it will be a long, long time! One of the things that is going to happen in Heaven is that we are going to have fellowship together. First John chapter one says:

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 (NKJV)

Because of the blood of Jesus we can have fellowship with one another. We can walk in the light.

A radio preacher once announced that he would be speaking the following Sunday on “Heaven.” During that week, a beautiful letter was received from an old man who was very ill. The following is part of his letter:

“Next Sunday you are to talk about Heaven. I am interested in that land, because I have held a clear title to a bit of property there for over fifty-five years. I did not buy it. It was given to me without money and without price. But the donor purchased it for me at tremendous sacrifice. I am not holding it for speculation since the title is not transferable. It is not a vacant lot. For more than half a century I have been sending materials out of which the greatest architect and builder of the universe has been building a home for me which will never need to be remodeled or repaired because it will suit me perfectly, individually, and will never grow old.

Termites can never undermine its foundations for they rest on the rock of ages. Fire cannot destroy it. Floods cannot wash it away. No locks or bolts will ever be placed upon its doors, for no vicious person can ever enter that land where my dwelling stands. It is now almost completed and ready for me to enter in and abide in peace eternally, without fear of ever being rejected. I hope to hear your sermon on heaven next Sunday, but I have no assurance that I shall be able to do so. My ticket to heaven has no date marked for the journey -- no return coupon -- and no permit for baggage. Yes, I am all ready to go and I may not be here while you are talking next Sunday, but I shall meet you there some day.”

Fellowship – It’s What We Do!