Summary: Is fellowship more than eating dounuts together? It is an important part of the mission of the church
Last week we talked about the reason for having a purpose.
The Church needs to define its purpose; this must start from God’s word.
The first Purpose of the church that I we looked at last week was Worship.
Last week I said that I believe that there are four basic questions that we have to answer as a church.
1. Why does the Church exist?
2. What are we to be as a church? (Who and what are we?)
3. What are we to do as a church? (What does God want done in the world?)
4. How are we to do it?
The way that we answer these questions will give a context from which to function from as a church.
If we do not answer these questions, we will just stumble around with no true purpose to what we do.
What is one thing that people look for in as church? What do you think draws people to a church? According to a 1995 study done by the Barna Research group, the number 2 reason a person attends a church service is “how much people seem to care for one another. (http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PageCategory.asp?CategoryID=10)
At least 50% of the unchurched audience found meeting other people as a good reason to attend a worship service.
The second purpose of the church that we are going to study is Fellowship.
In His book “The Body” Chuck Colson states the following:
• Surveys show that the number one thing people look for in a church is fellowship. But what most modern westerners seek is a far cry from what the Bible describes and what the early church practiced. No term in the Christian lexicon is more abused than fellowship.
• LET US READ ACTS 2:42-47
I. WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?
• When you hear the word Fellowship, what do you think about? What is the first thing that comes to mind?
• To some people fellowship means a warm affirming “hot tub” religion that soothes our frayed nerves and provides relief from the battering of everyday life.
• Sometimes we turn the social aspect of fellowship into an end in itself. We reduce fellowship to a good meal, or to the time that we go places together anywhere from shopping to going to retreats.
• For some people fellowship means no more than coming together for church events. We meet in our “fellowship” halls.
• The word in the New Testament literally means “a communion”, a participation of people together in God’s grace. It means to have something in common. Common participation in something either by giving what you have to the other person or receiving what he or she has.
• It describes a community in which individuals willingly pledge to share in common, to be in submission to each other, to support one another and bear one another’s burdens, to build up each up in our relationship with Jesus.
• ROM 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
• ACT 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. SINGLE PURPOSE
• PHI 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. PUT OTHERS FIRST
• ROM 12:4-5 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
• ACT 4:32-35 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. SHARING
• Fellowship is a oneness of purpose and cause, a setting aside of personal agenda’s. It is a focused purpose.
• If we have fellowship, it is based on the fact that we live for and serve Jesus.
• 1JO 1:1-3 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life -- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us --what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. COMMON BELIEF