#652. FELLOWSHIP IS FAMILY ON PURPOSE (21/9/22)
This week, in our Devoted vision series, we are looking at God's desire that we be a community which is devoted to 'fellowship'.
Summary: God desires that we be a church which is family-like in our love and devotion to each other. However, true fellowship is more than care; fellowship requires that we be ‘family on purpose’.
Fellowship is not afternoon tea with other church members. Fellowship is not having a games night with the church or a walk in the park… These are good and can be helpful aid to fellowship but we must not confuse the means with the ends. What is fellowship?
‘Fellowship’ (koinōnia) is the act of sharing and partnership. On Sunday it was outlined as ‘family on purpose’; church fellowship is about being a family with a shared purpose. Our purpose is often referred to as The Great Commission. We are to build this vision of true fellowship on purpose.
GOD’S FAMILY HAS A PURPOSE
God’s family has a purpose. The local church has a purpose. We don’t care for each other as an end in itself. We care for each other in order to live for Jesus and His mission more fully. We read of this in Philippians and Matthew:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership (fellowship) in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6)
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Kevin DeYoung wrote:
‘So what is the mission of the church? ...In short, we will argue that the mission of the church is summarised in the Great Commission passages—the climactic marching orders Jesus issues at the ends of the Gospels and at the beginning of Acts. We believe the church is sent into the world to witness to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of all nations. This is our task. This is our unique and central calling.’ (DeYoung, Kevin. What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission).
As a ‘family on purpose’, we are to work together to take the gospel to more people and make disciples. We are to help each other to know Jesus, live for Him and help others to know Him and live for Him. Family fishing is a wonderful illustration of biblical fellowship. We read:
‘As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.’ (Matthew 4:18-22)
They were family, and now they became family in Christ, but they also had a new purpose. They, previously, had been on a mission to catch fish, now they were on a mission to catch people for Christ.
Do we understand that we are ‘family on purpose’? Do we understand our identity and mission together? Do we have a balanced focus on family and purpose?
TOGETHER IN SEPTEMBER
During September 2022, at CCP, we are having 'Together' meetings instead of our usual Community Groups. You are very welcome to attend these gatherings.
Please come to the church building at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings - refreshments and a meal will be available.