FELLOWSHIP

1. Is it in the Bible?

Yes.

2. What do we believe it means?

Fellowship is the social gathering of Christians

3. What does it really mean?

Fellowship....

2842 koinonia koinonia {koy-nohn-ee'-ah}

AV - fellowship 12, communion 4, communication 1, distribution 1,
contribution 1, to communicate 1; 20

1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation,
intercourse
1a) the share which one has in anything, participation
1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy
1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship
(in fulfilling the apostolic office)
1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution,
as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship

 

.......is a new covenant term which is meant to be much more than the social gathering of believers. this is a case of our traditional format and function, based on old covenant types, subverting something that should be very important in the church.

Biblical, new testament "fellowship" is meant to be the functional "grass roots" movement of God thru His people. Fellowship in the Bible was functional--it fed the poor--it helped the needy--it spread the Gospel. Biblical fellowship was the love and brotherhood of the church, which took on the purpose and mission Jesus had given.

The authoritarian definitions of ministry, which minimize Godly service to a select few--steals the purpose which Christian fellowship is meant to have. Christians in most churches, hold some type of home studies or informal group meetings which are not on Sunday, and to some degree not "under the authority" of the church leadership.

Some times, god works powerfully thru these groups to reach out and help others. Often however, these meetings turn into completely social affairs. The reason this happens is the strong belief that "only the pastor" has ministry. The vast majority of Christians are un-empowered in serving God, since they see a repetitive, authoritarian format which emphasizes the ministry of one person. And the agreement which is expressed in this meeting is a very powerful influence that it is thought to be the "best" that God wants.

So, fellowship--something which ought to be the living, functional basis of all the ministry of the church, is reduced to a party.