I was listening to a message recently (not at my church), and the person speaking said something like I’m too busy with my ministry responsibilities to spend time with people.
That started me thinking; it recalled a recently-learned truth — Fellowship is important!
I used to think that fellowship was just a bonus, but I didn’t really realize its importance until recently.
Consider the very early church; we know that Peter preached at Pentecost and that 3,000 were saved (God did the counting, not man – generally, man numbering people is sinful in the Scriptures). We learned what these saved people did in Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
There is a lot that could be drawn from this verse about the people that God Himself called saved: They “continued” – they didn’t say a prayer and then never show any interest in spiritual things. They didn’t come to one service and then drop away. They were changed by the power of God, and they “continued”.
They continued “in the apostles’ doctrine” – they were willing to learn more about Jesus from the men who had spent years closest to Him. They were learning doctrine, and they continued to do so.
They also continued in “breaking of bread” – this phrase refers to what is called The Lord’s Supper. It seems likely that the early church met together every day — at least, those who could, but on Sunday, the day the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, they celebrated the memorial meal we call The Lord’s Supper. The Scripture doesn’t tell us how often to have it, but it is something we should “continue” in.
They continued “in prayers”. Prayer was important to these people, as it should be to every one who is born again.
But I skipped one – they continued “in fellowship”; not merely with each other, but with the apostles.
We can pray alone.
We can study the Scriptures alone.
We can even worship God alone.
But we cannot fellowship alone: I need the company of other Christians on a regular basis — the Bible tells me so right here. We need one another. It is as important as learning correct doctrine, prayer, and the Lord’s Supper.
You know, that would make a good question – how many people do you think would answer “What, according to the Bible, is as important as doctrine, prayer, and the Lord’s Supper?” with “fellowship”?
Some churches hold “fellowships” — but we despise it, or treat it as insignificant. Would we treat the Lord’s Supper that way? Why do we despise fellowship.
Something to ponder.