I’ve already had a couple posts on Christian fellowship which you may want to check out. See the category list to the right. But here are 3 quotes on fellowship…which I found challenging to help us remember that Christian fellowship is more than just “socialization.” Yes, socialization is a part of it…but it is so much more.
Also, it is interesting some of the google search phrases that have brought people to my blog. Such as “christian fellowship making time for each other” and “where to fellowship with other Christians when church fails.” -Clearly there are believers seeking genuine fellowship and having difficulty finding it.
Here are those quotes:
We are all called to initiate involvement in each other’s lives…We covenant together to work and pray for unity, to walk together in love, to exercise care and watchfulness over each other, to faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require, to assemble together, to pray for each other, to rejoice and to bear with each other, and to pray for God’s help in all this. Mark Dever
Don’t just share your struggles, and above all, don’t just commiserate with one another. Remember, we are to be ministers of grace to each other. We are to seek to be avenues of the Holy Spirit to help the other person appropriate the grace of God. Praying with and for one another, sharing applicable portions of Scripture, and helping each other submit to God’s providential dealings with us, must characterize our times together. Jerry Bridges
Nowhere in the New Testament do any of the Greek words translated “fellowship” imply fun times. Rather, they talk of, for example, “The fellowship of the ministering to the saints” (2 Cor. 8:4) as sacrificial service and financial aid. (See for example, 1 Tim. 6:18). Elsewhere, Paul was thankful for the Philippian believers’ “fellowship in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5), for he knew that “inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers (same word as fellowship) of my grace” (Phil. 1:7). This sort of fellowship may even bring persecution. We are to emulate Christ’s humility and self-sacrificial love (Phil. 2:5-8) through the “fellowship of the Spirit” (Phil. 2:1). In some way known only partially to us, we have the privilege of knowing “the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10), and even the communion (i.e. fellowship) of the blood…and body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16). J.D. Morris
Some personal thoughts in close. Many evangelical churches today use the “small group” concept to help people within the congregation experience fellowship with other believers. In theory, small groups are an ideal way for this to occur. Yet, small groups can disintegrate into socialization groups, or become nothing more than a weekly meeting we attend. But a small group should be more than socialization alone, and should not simply be a weekly meeting either. We are called to do the Christian life with each other…and this takes time and commitment…and keeping in touch throughout the week. Whether you are a small group leader or participant, we should pause and reflect from time to time. Are we really doing the Christian life together, or has it disintegrated into a social club or just a “going through the motions” weekly obligation?