Summary: I am defining fellowship as the opportunity to share our lives with others in order to strengthen, encourage, and build one another up through Jesus Christ.
Fellowship: What a to Live!
Scripture Reference: Romans 12:1 – 6a
The Spirit of God has been at work these past couple of weeks, seeking to either challenge your way of living or confirm your way of living. Because the thing that will grow us or defeat us, strengthen us or weaken us, move us forward or set us back is how we are living our life today.
We have defined the way to live from a Christian perspective through understanding discipleship: the process of being a lifelong learner and follower of Christ determining to go where He goes, do what He does, and say what He says.
We have defined the way to live from a Christian perspective through understanding worship: the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional response to who God is and what God does. God is the focus of worship.
Today we seek to understand the way to live through fellowship. This is one that Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who wrote the Purpose Drive Life has defined as one of our purposes for living --- Fellowship.
As we live for discipleship, the chance to bear the life of Christ in a Christless world, as we live to worship, the chance to honor God in a godless world, we have the chance to fellowship in an isolated and lonely world.
But why talk of fellowship? Are we not fellowshipping in the church today? Have we come to the place that coming together is more important than staying apart? Have relationships among people become more complicated or less complicated?
I have just completed my Doctorates of Ministry degree, one of the highest degrees to achieve in Christian ministry. I am not saying that to brag but to prove something.
I now have two advanced degrees, a Master’s and a Doctorate…I have taken approximately 180 semester hours of instruction over the past five years. That’s approximately 50 – 60 courses of instruction.
There were at least three subjects not offered in any of the degree programs, one was church management from a business perspective, another was on prayer, and the last one was fellowship? No course work, no credit, and no professor.
One teacher once said that at the end of the day when all of the dust is settled we feel like orphans left with nothing but a remote control and television to entertain us because that requires less work.
We have become married to escapism tactics like television, chat rooms, video games, periodic church attendance, to avoid coming together.
The world’s theme of self-absorption has invaded the church with all the emphasis placed on who is going to help me and getting what’s yours, your destiny, your vision, your call as though it operates in a vacuum apart from the whole of what God is doing. (The AIDS quilt)
Fellowship is vital. As Hezekiah Walker has rightly declared…”I need you, you need me, we all a part of God’s body.” We need each other because the best of us can get spiritually dull. The best of us sometimes want to throw in the towel. The best of us sometimes fall flat on our faces.
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12), because falling is right around the corner. I have tarried long enough; let me define fellowship and then move into the text.