Posted by: Chris Avery | October 29, 2008

What is Christian Fellowship?

I have used information from J. Vernon McGee and Mark Kielar in this post

First on a personal note. (Christian) Fellowship is not talking about interests such as hunting, football, jobs. Serving cookies and coffee at church is also not fellowship (it can be involved, but doesn’t stop there). From what I can tell many people think Christian fellowship is just Christians spending time together. It can include the snacks between Bible study and church or banquets. True Christian fellowship is something unique. Something only we as Christians can experience because it is about our relationship with God. This is the deepest level of fellowship because we have this in common with ALL other Christians no matter what differences we have in our interests and hobbies. And if you are a Christian, your relationship with Christ (and sharing that) should be your greatest joy. Now, for the actual content of this post.

The Greek word for fellowship is koinonia. It means that which believers can share of the things of Christ.
It involves 3 parts
1)Spiritual Communication – sharing the things of Christ, sharing the truths of Christ
2)Sympathetic Cooperation – working together for Christ, this could include Bible study, prayer, Lord’s Supper (our experience in Christ)
3)Sweet Communion – it makes us partners with Christ

 

 

Fellowship – share and participate
What it is not – connection, sharing interests and viewpoints
not even Bible study
Christian Fellowship – our experience of God Himself because of Christ Himself
A)From the Word
B)In the illumination of the Holy Spirit
C)God has made known to us or other about Himself
by this we should better know, obey, and love Him
not just Bible knowledge
but what is experienced through the Spirit

It appears that the two have a disagreement on Bible study and if that constitutes Christian fellowship. Talking about theology is good, but I do agree that we should be talking more about (our experience) what God is doing through us, our struggles and desires (spiritually).

 C.J. Mahaney said:
Fellowship means to participate together, or to communicate things we hold in common. The greatest common denominator between us as

Christians is our relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, by God the Holy Spirit. This forms the content of true fellowship. Our

relationship with God should be the main topic of communication within our small groups as we participate together to fulfil his purpose in the

local church.

There’s a catch, however. The depth of our personal relationship with God determines the degree of fellowship possible with each other. Thus, in

order to know true fellowship, one must maintain a passionate relationship with and experience of God. Perhaps that is why biblical fellowship is

so rare.

Fellowship is not just another word for social activities. I really enjoy watching the Washington Redskins or Baltimore Orioles with my friends. This

can be a healthy part of small-group life…but it isn’t fellowship. And you don’t have fellowship talking about the latest opinion from Rush

Limbaugh or Jesse Jackson, either. Social activities can’t be equated or confused with fellowship. They are distinctly different. Nothing compares to

the fellowship we enjoy when we worship together, study and apply Scripture together, encourage and correct each other, and communicate to one

another our current experience of God. Nothing. Social activities can create a context for fellowship, but they are a place to begin—not a place to

remain.

When I spend an extended time with another Christian, my main desire is that we know fellowship. I want to hear of his relationship with God,

and how God is revealing himself to him. I want to communicate my current experience of God as well, and impart a fresh passion for God.

Is that your desire?

If someone spent an afternoon with you, would he or she leave with a fresh understanding of and passion for God? If not, you need to change.

With this definition of fellowship in mind, consider your small group. Are
you experiencing fellowship? How much time do you spend in the meetings
talking about your current relationship with God? When you meet together outside the meetings, how often do your conversations revolve around

God’s work in your life? If you are relaxing together more than you’re relating together spiritually, you’re not enjoying true biblical fellowship—

and you have something to look forward to.

I found the part by C.J. Mahaney in a book about small groups that you can read online. I plan on checking it out myself.

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