Summary: #4 “The Six Pillars of a Powerful Church” “We Are Family…”
“The Six Pillars of a Powerful Church” “We Are Family…” Ephesians 2:19-22
As we look at the Six Pillars of a Powerful Church - we have looked at
Pillar 1 - is the pillar of STEWARDSHIP -
Pillar 2 - is the pillar of WORSHIP
Pillar 3 - is the pillar of DISCIPLESHIP
And today we look at Pillar 4 - FELLOWSHIP -
This pillar closes out the three center columns - You see, If the church cannot worship, cannot disciple and cannot fellowship then they should not bother trying to do the other three.
Frankly because no one wants to be a part of a dysfunctional family… especially if they already have one.
The early Christians devoted themselves to fellowship. They just didn’t HAVE fellowship; they devoted themselves to it. This means that fellowship was a priority and one of the objectives for gathering together. They made fellowship a priority.
Fellowship in the body of Christ is certainly not to be just a side issue.
This word fellowship does not do justice to the depth of what the biblical concept was about. The word in Greek was - “Koinonia”
The Greek word for fellowship comes from a root meaning common or shared. So real fellowship means a common participation in something deeper than just being “A Member”.
Today, however, we often view fellowship as what we do in “fellowship hall.” It’s the place where we have casual conversations and savor coffee and donuts. This is not bad and can contribute to fellowship, but it falls far short of fellowship according to biblical
Christian fellowship is two-dimensional, and it has to be vertical before it can be horizontal.
We must have a relationship to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ before we can know the reality of fellowship with each other.
Paul wrote here in Ephesians that the very cornerstone, the very reason we can even call this a family is because of Jesus. He is the foundation; Jesus is the very glue that holds this unique and diverse family together.
The person who is not in fellowship with the Father, through the Son is no Christian at all, and so cannot share or even understand the reality of Christian fellowship.
The church is to be a family. Its unity does not come from organization, or ritual, or liturgy or tradition; it comes from Christ. Where Christ is, there is the Church. The Church will realize KOINONIA only when it realizes that it does not exist to propagate the point of view of any body of people, but to provide a home where the Spirit of Christ can dwell and where all who love Christ can meet in that Spirit.
Fellowship has some vital aspects - Fellowship is first about - RELATIONSHIP -
Beginning with a COMMON BOND -our common bond is Jesus Christ, His grace and His mercy. Fellowship is first the sharing together in a common life with other believers through relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Fellowship is first and foremost a relationship, rather than an activity.
The principle is that any activity that follows should come out of the relationship.
Fellowship means we belong to each other in a relationship because we share together the common life and enabling grace of Jesus Christ. This is fellowship in the vertical.
Is about a PARTNERSHIP - A TOGETHERNESS - In the book of Acts the church was fellowshipping not just at worship services but also day to day in their homes. Paul says that we are together God’s family and that we are being built together. To do that you have to spend time with each other. Koinonia is God taking diverse and individual strands and weaving them together in order to create a tapestry that draws others to marvel at His work.
And in spending time together you learn to CARE for each other in a giving and receiving - at various times we will be one or the other… sometimes both at the same time. You will need to minister to someone and be ministered to. This is fellowship in the horizontal.
And it is finally about COMPANIONSHIP -
Companionship involves communion and communication; interchange, intimacy, sharing and receiving. In our communion with the Lord, we need to listen to His voice and respond in obedience. And then communion with each other…
God has created us to be dependent people—dependent on Him and on one another.
Someone has suggested that if you are one of those who gets their religion by watching religious broadcasts on the TV, or listening to the gospel via radio, you might want to step up to the television after a service and “Give it a great big hug.”
Or what about Cyber-church?
Foolish, isn’t it. The electronic religion of multitudes of people creates an emptiness—interpersonal relationships are so desperately needed to keep our faith glowing and growing, and not just in chat rooms…