Summary: How do people fail at fellowshipping?
WHAT FELLOWSHIP IS NOT
CHURCH SERIES #2: DEVOTED TO FELLOWSHIP
BIBLE VERSE: ACTS 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
TRANSITION: The book of Acts lays out the foundation of the early church, and quite honestly, the modern church as well. Specifically, these 5 verses here explain perfectly the role of the church and what the church is supposed to be and do. So this next series, which continues our Acts 2 series, will be a look at the specific role of the church breaking down part by part week by week.
A. Devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.
B. Devoted themselves to fellowship.
C. Devoted themselves to the breaking of bread.
D. Devoted themselves to prayer.
E. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs.
F. All believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
G. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
H. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
I. They praised God.
J. They enjoyed the favor of all people.
K. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
OPEN: One of the actions performed by the church is fellowship. And though we as believers may not always fellowship directly in line with the scriptures (koininia according to the verses), I firmly believe that our church and specifically our group does an absolutely fantastic job of gathering together.
TRANSITION: So this lesson isn’t so much as to what is fellowship. I think every church pot luck, laser tag, Winter Jam, lock-in, Risk tournament, Pointer’s Pizza, or even Never Have I Ever tends to take care of that (the main point being the one on one personal relationships molded from those times). So this lesson is what fellowship is NOT.
THE QUESTION: HOW DO PEOPLE FAIL AT FELLOWSHIP?
Unlike the typical five question small group. This small group lesson has ONE question, and a number of different answers (leaders, feel free to break down any and all the ones you look through, feel free to add your own since this by no means is an exhaustive list, but it does cover some of the majors). I want to point out that though I list a bunch of “types of Christians” who really don’t fellowship, being honest, the real reason some people who say their Christian do not fellowship is because quite simply they are not Christian (that will actually be the last point made, so it may not be needed to be mentioned this early in the lesson).
1. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A “FAILURE TO THRIVE” CHRISTIAN?
In Romania, after communism collapsed in the early 1990’s, outsiders went to have a look at how the country was being run. Obviously, the nation was in a state of mess, as was their childcare industry. The world found out when they entered into the Romanian orphanages that there was an unusual phenomenon, though the babies were given food, had the necessary amount of milk, and were changed semi-regularly, that many if not most of the babies perished anyway.
Why? The doctors called it “failure to thrive” syndrome. Meaning, though they had all the needs necessary to sustain life, because they lacked LOVE, TOUCH, AFFECTION, WORDS, FAMILY, they died. And even those that lived to 6, 9, 12 months, still acted like newborns and completely failed to advance.
Well, that is the case with “failure to thrive” Christians. They were led to the Lord through a friend, perhaps they came forward at a church. They desperately want to grow, eat, join, but because others failed to give them proper care, they were malnourished.
This sad reminded to us is that we as believers have a responsibility to disciple those (to help grow) those whom the Lord has called. If we are doing our disciple-making work, they’ll thrive.
2. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A “WORK FOR THE FUTURE” CHRISTIAN?
A handful of years ago, there was a mother who came to me and asked for help raising her teenage son. The boy had been good in school and had a solid group of friends, but he turned to drugs in 12th grade, and became like those who get involved in drugs, a stoned out loser and a drop out.