Now we are ready for the last purpose of church, fellowship. It’s been said that church is not a social club. A statement which may not be strictly true. While it should be more than just fellowship. However, that does not mean it isn’t that at all. Let us not forget that there was a fellowship offering outlined in the old testament as part of worship. So who are we to dismiss the idea outright? There is much overlap of these purposes of church, and in many cases they are even dependent upon each other. That is rather obvious with fellowship. For we can’t help and educate one another in acts of Christian nurture as well to strangers. The theologian John Wesley called this social holiness, for he believed that true holiness could only be achieved through the help and strength of Christian community. So many of the stories of successful discipleship that I’ve come across involve a personal story or testimony in themselves. Let’s face it, true fellowship involves a bit of vulnerability. If we can’t bear each others burdens in order to build each other up in the knowledge of God, then our church will be less effective in our outreach due to a simple lack of maturity. So as you can see, a church can start to falter rather quickly when we dismiss this seemingly simple concept of fellowship.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:2 NIV