Why “Fellowship” is so Much More Than Potluck Meals #2
Personally, I love enjoying a potluck meal with my church family. But unfortunately, many Christians so primarily associate the word “fellowship” with eating a meal that the two concepts have become virtually synonymous. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear someone say, “I went to a church fellowship yesterday.” But did you know, biblically speaking, “fellowship” isn’t something you do or attend, it’s something you have? How Do We Strengthen Our Fellowship?
A bond exists between two Christians because they are both Christians, but it may not be a strong bond. That bond – that “fellowship” – must intentionally be strengthened in order for it to be strong. But this is where the discussion gets difficult, because it depends on our mind set, our heart, our spirituality (see Colossians 3:1-4).
While it’s certainly true that we must be together in order to strengthen our fellowship, merely being together does not strengthen our fellowship. When two Christians get together for a round of golf and simply talk about the weather and politics – but never discuss spiritual things – they may have strengthened their friendship, but they have probably not strengthened the bond (the fellowship) they have in Christ. Furthermore, an entire congregation could get together for a meal and not actually strengthen the fellowship they have in Christ.
We Strengthen our Fellowship by:
• Celebrating the fellowship we have in Christ.
• Confessing our sins to one another.
• Praying with one another.
• Singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with one another.
• Sharing in the Lord’s Supper.
• Laboring with one another to spread the gospel and help those in need.
• Getting to know each others’ spiritual strengths and weaknesses.
The leadership of a congregation can – and I believe “should” – facilitate and encourage the strengthening of fellowship, but it seems to me that only those of us who recognize the fellowship we have can be devoted to strengthening it. We must teach each other about the fellowship we have in Christ, how precious it is, and that it must be strengthened intentionally.
This is why we must get together regularly for Bible studies, for worship, and even to simply sit around a meal table and visit about our lives in Christ. Fellowship will not be strengthened without ample time together, but we must be intentional. We must realize we are not getting together to fellowship, we are getting together because we are in fellowship.
I think the words of the Hebrew writer are particularly applicable here: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Editor’s Note: Lay Lake Family Retreat is a wonderful way of strengthening our fellowship! The elders want to strongly encourage each member at Lay Lake to participate. The more time that we spend together, the closer we will grow and be better able to help each other with the struggles of life. ICYC is a comfortable facility with bathrooms located throughout the camp. We will enjoy good fellowship, prayer, singing and Bible study. We will also enjoy good food and fun time! Please sign up TODAY!