LOVE GOD | LOVE OTHERS | LOVE YOU
Part of our mission is to love Jesus. We must ask what that means and how we do that-and, again, the Bible will give us a lot of help: Jesus says, "Those who love me keep my commandments" (John 14:21). Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?" Peter says, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you," and Jesus responds, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17). Many other directives can be found regarding how people who love Jesus should act and what they should do.3
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 ESV.
Loving our brother means that we engage with the community to provide spiritual guidance and help for the needed. Our church partners with area schools to feed hundreds of children weekly. When storms arise, men from the church are available to help clear damage. New Beginnings partners with other churches to broaden our influence with Youth on Inside Out. We provide snacks and spiritual notes to those imprisoned and that are homebound. There is no shortage of need and we provide assistance as the Lord directs and provides for financially.
The Bible says "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth" Psalm 139:13-15 ESV. Because He knows us so intimately and values us He expects us to take care of ourselves too. He declared "19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20"
The Ministry of the Church is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-38), and maturing them by instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline (Matt. 18:17, 18; I Cor. 5:1- 5).
Fellowship is an integral part of ministry. The early Christians clearly emphasized the importance of fellowship. Acts 2:42 notes, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." In the early church, "day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people" (Acts 2:46-47).
The New Testament word for "fellowship," koinonia, expresses the idea of being together for mutual benefit. Hebrews 10:24-25 shares this idea, saying, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Two reasons fellowship with other believers is important are because it helps express love to one another and it encourages good works.
A third important reason for Christian fellowship is its impact on unbelievers. Jesus told His disciples, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). The love Christians have for one another can influence others toward faith in Jesus Christ.
Still another important reason for Christian fellowship is the ability to pray together. Early believers were committed to prayer, both individually and in groups. In James 5:14-16, elders were called together to pray for the sick as well as for those who had sinned. This required being together.
Christian fellowship is also important for church decision-making. In both Acts 6 and Acts 15, the early church gathered together to make important decisions about the future direction of the church. These required community, prayer, and close discussion.
Christian fellowship is required for baptism. A new Christian cannot baptize himself or herself because it is not a public profession of faith. Christians gather together to celebrate a person's baptism and serve as witnesses of the person's commitment to a new life in Jesus Christ.
Christian fellowship is required for communion, or the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper doesn't quite work the same for an online church. This ancient practice requires time together with other believers to remember the blood and body of Christ.