What is Fellowship?
Fellowship is more than just being in the same room as someone else or even saying “hello” to those that are around us. Fellowship is found not in the halls that we meet nor in the restaurants that have great atmosphere. Fellowship is the sharing of lives. It is coming to a place where those that at one time were strangers to us have now become family. When those people that before we would have seen only once in a while, now for some reason we find yourself thinking about and wanting to be around them more and more. Fellowship is the process where two or more people’s lives becomes a part of our own life.
I do not mean that another person is being nosy or trying to run or ruin our life. But, when another person becomes a loved one, so that you hurt because they hurt, that is fellowship. It is not an easy road to travel, the one called fellowship. It is a slow and sometimes hurtful journey to bring people in that close. It is not easy, but there is something about being able to share with someone, about having that outside influence and strength. Will we be able to have fellowship with everyone in the church? The truth is no, that is not possible, but what are we doing to reach out and invite in those that we can?
Why Is Fellowship Important?
Growth only happens in an environment where trust exists. If we do not trust those that are around us will we be able to grow and feel safe? One of the most difficult things about growing in faith is being able to share our genuine concerns and know that they will not become the talk of the town, or worse the church. We cannot worship in an environment where we feel that we are being singled out. Trust is built by being trustworthy. Love is known by being loving. Fellowship comes when we are neighbors to strangers and family to friends. This may seem like a difficult way of doing it but that is what Jesus did for us. The apostle Paul writes it this way, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8; NKJV).
A large part of what makes fellowship what it ought to be comes from the way that we react to the people and circumstances that are around us. Do we want fellowship to exist? Then let us be the first to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. These are the tools that we are to use to create an environment that will produce fellowship. To answer the question a little more direct, “Why is fellowship important?” we need to understand that it is in the context of fellowship that we love one another and that people will know that we are Christ’s disciples (John 13:35; NKJV).
How Do We Sustain Fellowship?
Here is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. How do we go about sustaining fellowship within a body? The word that comes to mind is sincerity. If true and lasting fellowship is going to exist there has to be sincerity among those that are acting and doing within the body. If what you do is half-hearted or selfish, fellowship will not grow and it will die quickly if these things come into the body of Christ.
Fellowship will happen when we decide that we are really going to care about those that come to our church, whether visitor or member, and we will love them with the love of God.