Church Family: Lab for Love

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT)

A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation. The local church is the classroom for learning how to get along in God’s family. It is a lab for practicing unselfish love.

As a participating member, you learn to care about others and share the experiences of others: “If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its honor” (1 Corinthians 12:26 NCV).

Only in regular contact with ordinary, imperfect believers can we learn real fellowship and experience the New Testament truth of being connected and dependent on each other.

Biblical fellowship is being as committed to each other as we are to Jesus Christ. God expects us to give our lives for each other. Many Christians who know John 3:16 are unaware of 1 John 3:16: “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (NIV).

This is the kind of sacrificial love God expects you to show other believers — a willingness to love them in the way Jesus loves you.

Talk About It

What is the evidence in your life of your commitment to biblical fellowship?

- How often do you interact and fellowship with your church family in church? Outside of church?


Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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