Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What is Fellowship?

Our church is going through the start of small groups which we hope will be an integral part of our church life. We have been discussing and analyzing what true Biblical fellowship is. The average 21st Century Evangelical American Christian would say that Fellowship is anytime 2 or more Christians get together. One writer of a text we have been using would say true Fellowship is only a constant pointing to Christ in each other's lives by a discussion of Spiritual things, doctrine, accountability etc.

The entire discussion is interesting. If we think Biblically, there are a lot of texts that point to intense involvement in each other's lives spiritually...edifying, encouraging, correcting, mercy-ing. If we look at the early church in Acts 2:42-47, we see true Koinonia among the early Christians...and if we look at the text, there was definitely a tie that bound them together...the teaching and pointing to and glorying in Christ. However, they also spent time together, and it was likely that in their meals, and in their sharing in each other's homes that not every second was a discussion of a theological or spiritual theme. I used the analogy the other night that we as Christians due to the flesh are not naturally bent towards swimming in the deep end of fellowship, but we should be intentional about swimming in that direction.

So what is Fellowship? I think Biblically, it is seeking to always one another each other in the body of Christ, for the glory of Christ, but I think that while the primary means is the teaching and edifying of each other in the gospel, some of it is life together...how can you know me if your not in my life sometimes, watching my kids, eating my food, helping me move, supporting me in the simple aspects of life like family, career, etc? I am not saying Fellowship is only about Life Together, but I am saying it must include some life together, or else our intensity may not take roots.

So fellow believers, let's constantly seek to go deeper, but let us "be okay" if at times our fellowship is light-hearted, or includes 'life' events. We are New Creations, in human bodies, with lives we are living as exiles in this foreign land. Let us realize that fellowship is a journeying, both in the deep end at times, but also in the shallow end, swimming with our brothers and sisters towards the deep end.