What is Fellowship?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
All too often, it seems like “fellowship” means the same in practice as “visiting.” Fellowship is simply used as justification to visit without making commitment to the relationship. Are they really the same? Or is “fellowship” something more than merely “visiting”?
One of the best ways I can think of to understand fellowship comes from my favorite movie and book series, The Lord of the Rings. More specifically, the first in the series: The Fellowship of the Ring.
This first book/movie in the series involves individuals bound to one another because they were working toward the same goal. Because of that journey, though, they developed deep bonds of friendship.
This exemplifies what fellowship is really meant to be. Beyond visiting, fellowship is a process of developing deep and lasting relationships.
A Threefold Cord
The Bible offers a description that while not using the word “fellowship” certainly describes this idea of deeply developed companionship and the role it can play in a person’s life.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Fellowship gets at eradicating loneliness. It solidifies encouragement and provides stability and strength for persevering when life become difficult.
Going Beyond Visiting
This better understanding of fellowship motivates me to move beyond only visiting with my fellow Christians, especially the ones with which I interact regularly. Fellowship leads me to efforts toward developing depth and moving well beyond, “Hi. How are you?”
I’m looking forward to developing depth in relationships and moving beyond just visiting. I’m looking forward to more fellowship. Won’t you join me?