Read Acts 2.
What is “fellowship?” It is a term that we Christians use frequently. But do we really understand what it means?
A lot of people think that “fellowship” is a word for “socializing but with my Christian friends.” Socializing is fine; an important part of life, really. But it is not the same as fellowship.
This chapter describes true fellowship. The chapter begins with a massive evangelistic movement in Jerusalem brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit (vv. 1-41). God kick-started the church through this Day of Pentecost movement.
Verses 42-47 describe how this early church instinctively began to function. Verse 42 says they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship.” You know as well as anybody how much I think we need to be devoted to the apostles’ teaching. But we also need fellowship, and need it badly.
So, if these believers were devoted to fellowship, as verse 42 said, what did that look like?
Communion (“the breaking of bread”) and prayer are mentioned in verse 42 and they certainly are aspects of fellowship. When we gather together around the Lord’s Table and when we pray together, we are sharing (that’s what “fellowship” means) in deeply spiritual, Christian practices.
But the rest of the paragraph in verses 44-47 also give more details about the practice of fellowship in the first church in Jerusalem. Think about our church as we look at those details:
- “All the believers were together” in verse 44. They just liked to hang out together in their free time. Do we? Or do we come late on Sunday, leave as soon as possible after the service and never come in contact with anyone else from church until next Sunday?
- They “had everything in common” even selling “property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” (v. 45). They fellowshipped by showing sacrificial generosity to each other. Do we do that? Do we look to share what we have with believers in our church who need stuff.
- “Everyday they continued to meet together…” They came together daily to worship and hear God’s word. They couldn’t get enough of it and came everyday to fellowship around God’s word. Is that your feeling or is one message a week on Sunday morning almost too much to take? I’ve often wondered why so many people stay in the lobby eating donuts during the Calvary Class hour instead of going to a class to feed on God’s word with others.
- “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God” (vv. 46-47a). After the church service was over, they went to each others’ homes to share more food and worship together. When was the last time you had someone from church over? I mean, before “social distancing” became the norm?
After the restrictions from this COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, people are going to want to socialize like never before. And, honestly, I’ve been praying that this forced separation will ignite in us a hunger for God and for true fellowship with each other like we’ve never had before at Calvary.
But we don’t actually have to wait until the restrictions are lifted. We can call, text, FaceTime, or email others. Do you look for opportunities to fellowship with others in our church or do you avoid it like the pandemic?
Will you join me in praying that God would use this to build some real prayer groups and ministries in our church? Will you look for a way to connect with someone from Calvary for some personal fellowship–not just socializing but sharing the word and prayer together?