Summary: A message that centers around fellowship
(This message adapted from The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren)
SERIES: ‘THE GROWTH FACTORS”
TEXT: ACTS 2:42-47
TITLE: “THE FORMATION FACTOR”
INTRODUCTION: A. What do you think of when you hear the word “family”?
1. Do you think of the families in Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Ozzie
2. Maybe your family concept is more like The Cosby Show, Home Improvement, or
Everybody Loves Raymond
3. Perhaps it’s more like Married With Children or The Simpsons
4. Family creates a picture in our minds
--it may be positive or it may be negative
5. God’s original intention for the family was positive
a. God designed the family to be a place of support, encouragement, nurture,
guidance, and stability
--an environment in which we can grow and thrive
b. The entire Bible is the story of God building a family
--Eph.. 1:5 (NLT) – “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into
His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.”
C. The church is a family
--The word that describes the “family” concept of the church is the term “fellowship”
1. Bob Shannon: “Christian fellowship was so unique that the first century believers
searched for a word to describe it. The found the solution in an old word seldom
used any longer. They dusted off that word and used it. And that word was
2. When that Greek term koinonia was used, it had a specific meaning
a. When applied to people, it referred to a partnership.
b. When applied to things, it referred to things that were shared, held in common,
3. Acts 2:42-47 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the
fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe,
and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the
believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions
and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet
together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with
glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And
were being saved.”
D. Fellowship is loving God’s family.
--Eph. 3:14-15 – “Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these
instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct
themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and
foundation of the truth.
1. The church is a family
2. It’s not a building; it’s not an institution; it’s not an organization; and it’s not a club
--It’s a family
3. What does it really mean to be family?
--four levels of fellowship
I. First Level of Fellowship: MEMBERSHIP – Choosing to belong
A. Membership is the most basic level; it’s rudimentary; the lowest level
1. Membership means you find a church family and you choose to get connected with it
a. Eph. 2:19 – “You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and
members of God’s household.”
b. One translation of that verse renders it: “You are members of God’s very own family and you belong
in God’s household with every other Christian.”
2. The Christian life is not just a matter of believing.
--It’s also a matter of belonging
a. Fellowship begins with belonging, with making that choice to belong
b. God wants you to make the choice to be a part of His family.
3. When you were born, you automatically became a part of the human race.
--But you have to choose to belong to the family of God – the church.
B. The church is where you learn to live out what it means to be a Christian.
1. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m a Christian but I don’t want to belong to any church.”
a. That’s like saying, “I’m a football player, but I don’t want to be a part of any team.”
--It would be pretty ridiculous to believe one man could play football against a whole team
b. That’s like saying, “I’m a drummer but I don’t want to belong to a band.”
--Listening to a drummer without a band gets to be pretty annoying after awhile
c. That’s like saying, “I’m a bee, but I don’t want to be a part of a hive”
d. Or like saying, “I want to be a soldier but I don’t want to join the military.”
2. A Christian without a church family is an orphan.
--God meant us to be a part of a family.
3. Rom. 12:5 – “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the