What is biblical fellowship?
In God's awesome wisdom, He decreed that the church would be built up through common believers ministering to each other. Most churches today emphasize the leadership's role in doing all the ministering , but in God's system, the leaders are responsible for equipping the members of the church so that the members can minister to each other and reach the lost for Christ. Don't believe me? Read these two verses:
Let me paraphrase these verses to clarify their meaning:
Jesus Christ is the head of the church, but the church will only grow and be edified to the degree that we love one another, stay tightly and properly connected to each other, and effectively give each other the help that each of us can give.
Ephesians 4: 11,12
God gave the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers so that through their ministry the saints can be perfected, so that the saints can effectively work at ministering to each other, so that the church as a whole can be edified.
As one commentary says:
"These ministry gifts (Eph 4:11) are to equip the saints, and then the saints are to do the work of the ministry.
It is a mistake to place the burden of ministry on what we call "the clergy." Full-time ministers are to minister the Word to the saints, but the saints are to go out and reach the lost and carry the bulk of the ministry within the church. Shepherds don't have sheep; they tend the sheep, and the sheep reproduce.
It has been a big mistake to "hire" ministers to do what the individual members of the church are supposed to do. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are simply leaders who equip average saints so that they can be successful in the ministries God has given them."
So what are the we supposed to do for each other?
Here is a list of verses summarizing our responsibilities toward one another:
Rom. 15:14 “ADMONISH one another”
1 Cor. 12:25 “Have CARE FOR each other”
Gal. 6:2 “BEAR one another's BURDENS”
Col. 3:16 “TEACH AND ADMONISH one another”
1 Thess. 5:11 “COMFORT and EDIFY one another”
1 Thess. 5:14 “WARN, COMFORT, and SUPPORT the weak."
Heb. 3:13 “EXHORT one another daily”
Heb. 10: 24,25 “CONSIDER one another TO PROVOKE one another to love”
James 5:16 “CONFESS TO and PRAY FOR one another”
This is what Jesus meant by "Love one another."
Check out the Fellowship Meeting format of the T.K. program.
The T.K. discipleship program offers a practical format which makes it easy to foster true biblical fellowship. This type of fellowship will not happen just because we talk about it. As leaders, we must be intentional and deliberate about facilitating this environment. Our experience is that even if you don't choose to follow the format exactly as we suggest, it makes for a great starting point and can give you insights which you can use in creating your own format.