And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.Acts 2:42
Yesterday we talked on the role of influence and how each of us has it, but how we use is in entirely up to us.
One of the most positive ways of influence I believe is in the word fellowship. Why is fellowship so influential? Let us have a look at the definition of the word fellowship. The Greek word for fellowship is ‘koinonia’ and it means to be a sharer, a companion, one who is a partaker, a participant in communion.
If we are doing that, then surely we are being influential, just being with other people, being a positive participant. A companion in a group I believe can be a very positive thing to do. You do not know how much of a blessing you can be to someone just by having fellowship and being encouraging.
Often it’s not the huge things we do but the little things, a word here or there, sharing an experience which just may help someone else in that group. Our Tuesday nights for me are key.
You see Jesus was never an advocate of Christianity alone. If anyone could have done a task or an assignment completely on his own it would’ve been Jesus. That though was not how Jesus did things. We are told he went looking for people, and I don’t just mean the 12 disciples. In fact, the Bible mentions that over 120 people at one time were followers of Jesus. We know that ladies played a great part in Jesus’s life particularly in his final three years, so we see Jesus knew the importance of fellowship.
It is why it disturbs and unsettles me when I often hear people say I can become a Christian without a church or even a small group of believers.
However, an effective Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. A Christian who lives a life away from other Christians will never mature and not persevere in the faith without fellowship. In other words, the “Lone Ranger” Christian will develop “failure to thrive syndrome”. In fact, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto! Ever thought about that?
Let me leave you with an illustration that I hope helps.
A pastor went to visit a man who had been absent from church for some time. When the pastor arrived at the house he found him sitting by a fire of glowing coals. The man fully expected his pastor to rebuke him for his non-attendance at services. But instead, the pastor drew up a chair alongside the fireplace where the man was sitting just looking into the fire.
With the tongs, the pastor reached into the fire and took one of the red hot glowing coals and placed it by itself out on the hearth. In no time at all the coal began to lose its glow and in a few minutes, it was cold and black. The man looked up into the face of his pastor who hadn’t said a word and he said “I’ll be there next Sunday.”
There are many analogies for the Christian disconnected from a church, a football player without a team, a soldier without an army, a sheep without a flock, but the most understandable and biblical picture is that of a child without a family. In the New Testament, believers call each other brothers and sisters and, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul writes:
Now you…are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family.Ephesians 2:19 (NCV).
So for me, a Christian without a church family is a spiritual orphan.
Remember being a Christian is not only about believing, but it is also about belonging…
So where do you belong? If you belong I hope to see you soon!!!