Why Church Fellowship Is Vital to Your Christian Walk

Karen Del Tatto

Contributing Writer
Updated May 08, 2024
Why Church Fellowship Is Vital to Your Christian Walk

Being part of a church fellowship is vital to your Christian walk because there is a need that only you can fill that the Lord has specifically ordained for you in the promotion of the gospel.

Before having a relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I would “attend” church. Growing up, I went to Catholic Mass on Sunday mornings with my family. Even as a young girl, I liked the idea of attending church and felt a sense of ticking something off my “spiritual goodness” list without any further thought about the people at church, let alone reflecting upon God and definitely not Jesus. 

You see, I was just going through the traditional motions. Not only that, we were like people who went to a restaurant but didn’t participate in conversation with anyone at our table, nor did we eat any food. We just showed up so that later we could essentially say, “We went to church this morning,” but nothing about the Mass impacted our lives for the Lord.

Because I didn't have a healthy church mindset, from my late teens to my early 30s, I didn’t attend church at all. And why should that be a surprise? All I had was tradition—no depth, no substance, no understanding of Jesus or the Bible.

Church attendance becomes works with faith when the only thing driving you is tradition, but when a relationship with Jesus is the reason behind attending church, you derive so much more from that experience. Being a part of something means that you are not just a consumer but a contributing member. Someone who uses their time, talents, and treasures to further the gospel and minister to believers.

Two of my favorite passages of the Bible are from  Acts 2:46-47 and 4:32-36 which say: 

“Daily they met together in the temple courts and in one another's homes to celebrate communion. They shared meals together with joyful hearts and tender humility. They were continually filled with praises to God, enjoying the favor of all the people… And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

I truly believe this is what heaven will be like, sweet fellowship with one another while worshiping our Lord.

Let’s look at three ways being part of a church fellowship is vital to our Christian walk:

1. Fellowship

The word "fellowship" means “shared participation within a community” or “holding our lives in common”. I love the second definition because it highlights the fact that believers hold Jesus in common. The center of our relationship with one another is Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” As we see here, not only are we in fellowship with one another, but we are in fellowship with Jesus. We are participating with Him to bring glory to God.

I am introverted by nature. Even as a pastor’s wife, it can be hard for me to mingle after church and strike up conversations with people. There are times when I would rather leave than be “uncomfortable” due to my reserved nature. But then my husband’s words from a sermon he preached always come back, reminding me that when you aren’t at church or don’t participate in fellowship, a person who needed you—needed something only you could’ve brought to encourage them in their time of need—misses an opportunity to be blessed. I can’t tell you how many times this has proven true when someone has shared with me a struggle or something going on in their lives and I have been able to share a similar experience and testify how the Lord helped me, offering comfort for their struggles. 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5  

This is just one example, but you get the gist of how you being part of a church fellowship is not only vital to your own Christian walk and growth but also vital to your brothers and sisters within the fellowship.

2. Ministry

When we are part of a church fellowship, we are part of a ministry, not only to each other but to those outside the church. Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ." As the church in Acts demonstrated, they shared their belongings with one another. They were a community who ministered with their treasures, and there was not one needy person among them.  You might be thinking, But what if I don’t have money or material things to donate? The Lord knows your heart. Mark 12:42-44 says, “Then a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth less than a penny. Jesus called his followers to him and said, 'This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people. They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need.'”  

There are many ways to minister when you are part of a church fellowship. If you have elderly congregants, you could mow their grass, bring them a meal, clean their house, or just simply sit with them and be a companion. If you have a young mom in the church, you could bring her meals, offer to do her shopping, or babysit. If you yourself are a shut-in, you have the greatest resource of ministry at your disposal and that is time to pray. Pray for those in your church, in your community, etc.

Outside of the church, you can be part of ministry teams who work in soup kitchens, donate money for food pantries, help out in a women’s shelter, etc.  

Being part of a church fellowship’s ministry is vital to your Christian walk because you are using the gifts God entrusted you with in order to carry out His mission. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."

3. Promoting the Gospel

You might be thinking, “Hey now, I am not at all gifted to promote the gospel!” Believe me, I have had those thoughts. Years ago, around Christmas, our church would go out singing Christmas carols on a Sunday afternoon and then share the gospel with those who would open the door. I always stood at the back of the group because I didn’t feel equipped to share the gospel.

We may not all be preachers, but we are all called to be promoters of the gospel. Promoting the gospel is achieved in many ways…  

Certainly through prayer. Our church has a day of prayer and fasting every Good Friday. We sign up for a time slot and then pray for an hour. The first year we did this, our church was packed on Easter Sunday morning with people we had not seen before when normally that is not the case. The gospel was preached boldly to all those people who “just showed up” on Easter morning. Corporate prayer is powerful. Acts 4:31 says, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

Certainly by our actions. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise.” When we are part of a church fellowship, we surround ourselves with Christians who walk in obedience to God, which spurs us on to do the same. What that's saying is, “Sometimes you will be the only Bible someone will read.” Our conduct will “promote the gospel” because it will show that we have been with Christ. 

Certainly through our giftings. Being part of a church fellowship provides many opportunities to use the gifts God has given us. Some of us may not have been called to preach, but we may have the gift of teaching such as in women’s ministry or children’s Sunday school. Some may have gifts of hospitality where the love of Christ shines through. (The women at my church who work in the kitchen during fellowship hour or during events have taught me so much about selfless, joyful service.) Some may have the gift of encouragement where God’s comfort is evident. (We have a sweet elderly man in our church who oftentimes can’t make it out, but he has a card ministry and is always sending encouragement to the congregants.)

Being part of a church fellowship is vital to your Christian walk because there is a need that only you can fill that the Lord has specifically ordained for you in the promotion of the gospel.

I want to close by saying that if you are not part of a church fellowship, I encourage you to pray and ask God to lead you to the church home He has chosen for you. He will answer.  

For those of you who may have physical restrictions that keep you from attending your home church, you are still very much a part of it as a valued member. You are someone to be ministered to and someone who can pray and encourage others. If you are in this situation and don’t currently have a church home, you can pray that the Lord would show you an online fellowship to be a part of and then contact them to make meaningful connections despite your circumstances.

May we all be a part of a church fellowship so that we bless others through our Christian walk. 

Photo Credit: ©Megan Allen/Unsplash

Karen Del Tatto is a blogger, author, women's ministry leader, pastor's wife, mom, and grandmother who is passionate about the Word of God. Her blog Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge and her books Choosing to Trust God: Breaking the Habit of Worry, A 30-Day Devotional and Choosing to Trust God Companion Journal reveal her heart for providing Biblical insights to encourage women to grow in and through their struggles while equipping them to overcome. Karen and her husband live in Rhode Island and enjoy walks in the woods, owling, and spending time with their grandchildren.