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?
OUR PURPOSE STATEMENT
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?
OUR VISION STATEMENT
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.
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.
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT FELLOWSHIP?
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.