Raising Teens into Church Life pt. 3: Fellowship

Church is a blessing. The church, a local group of redeemed sinners worshipping God through loving Him and loving others, is a blessing to those who participate in it. Our goal is to help young adults and teens see and experience God’s blessing by participating in the church body. We first looked at the Sunday morning worship service, then we looked at serving others. Now we look at the other side of the church relational coin: fellowship.

1 John 1:1-7 tells us that because we have fellowship with God, we have fellowship with one another. Fellowship is not merely conversation or spending time together or eating bagels while drinking coffee. Fellowship is a relational investment in one another.

Fellowship is partnership – Paul, in Philippians 1:3-6, reminds us the gospel brings the church together AND calls the church to participate in kingdom work together. The church fellowships by partnering together: we build trustworthy relationships, we praise and petition God together, we seek accountability from each another, and we share in the kingdom’s work side-by-side. Parents, let’s look for opportunities for our teens to participate in church-wide fellowship and ministries. Church, let’s exercise hospitality by inviting families and young adults over for a meal or into your care group. Teens and young adults, resist the temptation to spend time with just your peers, the church is made up of people who are starkly different than you and that is a God-given blessing!

Fellowship is investment – Paul, in Romans 15:26 and 2 Corinthians 8:4, explains fellowship as the sharing resources to meet a financial or physical need. Moreover, Philemon 1:6 says the church’s love for each other is the sharing of its faith, this investment produces mutual refreshment in and knowledge of Christ. Whether it is physical or spiritual investment, the church is built up to Christ through fellowship. Parents, let’s exemplify refreshment in Christ by visibly meeting the needs of others in the church. Church, let’s not discount our younger generations as needless, rather let’s listen to their needs and find ways to invest in them. Teens and young adults, resist the urge to only receive investment “your” way. Since the community of Christ is so varied you will encounter varied encouragement and investment, look past your wants for God’s blessing.

(Article is adapted by Pastor Josh Barlow from Pastor TJ Walsh’s YG message from the “Teens at Church” series. Posted here for archival purposes.)

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