?> Rancho Baptist Church

Article

The Need for Community and Fellowship

2/1/19 | Encouragement | by Jason Swanson

The Need for Community and Fellowship

    Have you ever considered...

    ...how God has created us to have fellowship with Him and with others rather than simply existing by ourselves?   

    Have you ever noticed the emphasis in the Bible on a group of believers rather than just one believer?  

    In the beginning as God created Adam and Eve, His plan for them was not only to rule over the earth and subdue it, but to fill the earth with their children (Gen. 1:28). The covenant God established with Abraham, likewise, is seen not as a relationship established between one man and God, or even one family and God, but an entire nation whose number is too large to count (Gen. 15:5). 

    God’s desire to have His children exist in relationships with one another—not in isolation—is also seen in the times of the apostles as Christ’s church is born.  Throughout the book of Acts the Gospel is preached and many respond in repentance and are immediately brought into a living relationship with other believers. 

    Why does God place such an emphasis on the community rather than the individual? 

    He has created us ‘in His own image’, which means that we are relational beings who need to be in community with others.  God has always existed and will always exist in a perfect relationship within the Godhead itself. God Himself functions within a community, so to speak, as the three persons of the Godhead exist in relationship.   We were not only created to enjoy God forever, but we were created to enjoy relationships with one another (Gen. 2:18).    This is the reason why we long for belonging and relationship.  We were wired by God to enjoy fellowship with Him as well as fellowship with others.  Sin, however, entered the world and broke our fellowship with God and also changed how we relate to one another.   The Gospel restores our relationship with God and also allows us to live in God honoring community with one another.  The Gospel, being active and transforming, releases God’s grace upon His children not just in salvation but also in sanctification. 

    The grace of God is unleashed through the Word of God as it is taught, preached, and read—but it is also revealed as believers live in community with one another.  God’s grace is seen and evident in the lives of others as they share struggles, victories and the hope Christ has given them in their daily lives.  Living in community exposes areas in which believers need to grow and allows others to graciously encourage, love, and challenge their brothers and sisters to live for God’s glory.  Believers need one another.  The wonderful grace of God is seen actively working in the body of Christ as each particular part of the body is represented and can be used by the Lord to build one another up.  These types of relationships cannot exist merely in a Sunday Worship Service as this type of gathering does not give the opportunity to really enjoy deep and abiding fellowship.

    This need for community is what has encouraged the leadership here at Rancho Baptist Church to start organizing the Community Groups in order to further draw our church body closer together. As these Community Groups gather in people’s homes as a body of believers, it will afford us a place to share life together and spur one another on to becoming more like Christ. 

    These groups, Lord willing, will be a place where all families, children, singles and seniors can gather as a close-knit community.

    We will join together to worship, share a meal, be encouraged in the Word, care for others, and minister as a team.

    These Community Groups, Lord willing, will start soon.  Can’t wait to see you all there!

    Rejoicing in the Fellowship of the Saints,

    Pastor Jason | RBC Senior Pastor