"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:23-26
Stewardship is what you do with your life after you confess Jesus as Savior. How do you manage your life in a way that pleases God and causes you to be effective for Him.
We have already examined the relationship between stewardship and worship. Worship is about how you manage your desires on you know that Jesus is the Christ. Worship is also about how you deny yourself of feelings, thoughts or habits that draw your desires away from Him. And, worship is also about how you manage your witness of Jesus as your Savior. Your witness is how you declare the Lordship of Jesus to others by what you say with you lips and with your life.
So, how does stewardship relate to fellowship?
Fellowship needs a focus. What will be the "velcro" that holds a group of people together? How does this group of people who have gathered together under the banner of a local church manage to find unity and form an identity. How do they manage the gifts and talents God has given them in order to fulfill the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment?
First, they commit to each other that each of them with shape their desires around God. Each individual believer must understand that their ability to manage their desires has a direct impact on the church as a whole. So, healthy godly fellowship is the result of the members of that church managing their desires in a way that unites them and glorifies God.
Second, they make a commitment to deny themselves of habits, attitudes or activities that could be harmful or destructive to the church fellowship. Every member of a church matters! Therefore what every member does either helps or hurts every other member. You have heard the saying, "no man is an island". That is true. One person can lift his fellowship or one can do serious harm to that fellowship by how he manages or mismanages his desires. This is one reason why when you join a church there are typically a set of rules or a code of conduct they require you to subscribe to.
Third, stewardship of fellowship requires you to conduct yourself in a way that represents God well and also, commends the witness of the church. You must understand that what you do and say shapes the reputation of the entire church. Members of a fellowship commit to God and to each other that each of them will make the Faith and the church look good.
So, the stewadship of fellowship means each of us live for all of us - and even more importantly - each of us live for Him! That commitment in the glue -or the velco- that holds that fellowship together. Fellowship inspires each of us to be our best for the sake of all of us!
Want your fellowship be get better? You be better! Manage your desires better, deny yourself in order to be better and declare the glory and grace of God in a positive way.