Balancing Teaching & Fellowship in the Small Groups



Why must we understand the relationship between teaching and fellowship


1.  It is a key to the growth of believers.

The genuineness of our claim to love God is tested by our love for our brother

Matthew 25:31 – 46;  I John 4:202.  It is a key to effective outreach         

 Consider how God chose to introduce the new church…………                

    –   Acts 2   Languages provide a hearing for Peter’s message                      

     –   Acts 3   Healing the lame man provides a hearing for message to Sanhedrin             

     –   Acts 6   Caring for widows allows the word of God to increase


In reaching out; fellowship opens the way for new explanations of God’s word 


Small group leaders need to understand that:       

1.  Bible study provides a basis and a safeguard for fellowship              

Sometimes we begin with Scripture and move toward “people needs”                       

“This is what the Lord says…..” ->  Now how does this apply….?                       

See Acts 8:5-25  Phillip in Samaria      

2.  Fellowship provides an oppportunity to search out what God says on any subject                    

Sometimes we begin with “people needs” and move toward Scripture                       

“How are you doing this week?”  ->  “What does God say about that?”                      

See Acts 8:26-40  Phillip and the Ethiopian man 


Bible study emphasizes God’s authority

Fellowship emphasizes man’s relationships  

The church needs quality time for growing in both of these.

Sunday morning activities of the whole church gathered provide quality time for the teaching of the Word and limited time for fellowship.

Midweek small groups provide quality time for fellowship and limited time for the teaching of the Word. 

Those who work at trying to preserve a good balance between fellowship and Bible study should remember that  most people have a short attention span.   Thus the first 30 minutes (plus or minus) in the Sunday message or the small group meeting are the “prime time” of their concentration.  If this time is wholly devoted to introductions or entertaining features, the impact of the Word canbe greatly diminished as time passes.

The goal of this whole subject is not choosing between Scripture and fellowship, but having a proper understanding of Biblical fellowship. The Word instructs & cleanses & equips for service.

Fellowship is the practical means by which this process goes forward in the local church. 



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