Exploring Fellowship in the Bible: The Complete Guide

Fellowship is a word that is hard to avoid, whether you are a devoted Christian or someone who has only brushed shoulders with the church. Without fellowship, churches would lack a sense of community, and congregants would struggle to form a collective sense of identity. You might wonder why this matters, but a solid fellowship is essential for a ministry grounded on trust and inclusion.

Jesse Wisnewski
June 12, 2023
Kids Ministry Leadership

Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship in Your Community

Fellowship is a word that is hard to avoid, whether you are a devoted Christian or someone who has only brushed shoulders with the church. Without fellowship, churches would lack a sense of community, and congregants would struggle to form a collective sense of identity. You might wonder why this matters, but a solid fellowship is essential for a ministry grounded on trust and inclusion.

Keep reading for a complete breakdown of what fellowship in the church entails and five reasons why it’s essential.  

What Is Fellowship?

The fellowship definition written by Merriam-Webster is a "community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience." But the Christian fellowship definition, as written by Bible Study, is slightly different: "Christian fellowship is the act of meeting with those who are converted and who possess the same general beliefs." Essentially, fellowship church meaning is traditional fellowship, with Christianity at the forefront.

When you define Christian fellowship, you realize it entails involvement at a community level, but it is deeper than community alone. It refers to those who have allied themselves with Jesus by joining the same organization to support each other, hold others accountable, and be better people.

Fellowship in the Bible

The Bible features countless mentions of fellowship, and here are our top three picks.

  • “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 the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44
  • “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

The takeaway from these examples is that Christians must meet each other on common ground, and join together as one in prayer, community, and more. Discover more evidence of fellowship in scripture at Bible Study Tools, and read this blog for four more things every Christian can learn from Acts 2.

Benefits of Fellowship

1. It Gives Us An Image of God. 

As highlighted by Learn Religions, fellowship highlights the spectrum of God’s graces in the world. When we gather, we show God in action, reflecting His splendor and demonstrating His gifts. Nobody is flawless, and people sin. But everyone's mission on Earth is to reveal facets of God to people around them, as He has given us all unique spiritual gifts which reflect His power within us. 

2. It Provides Us With Strength

A fellowship gives us strength regardless of where we are in our religion. It allows us to develop our faith through spending time with fellow Christians. It shows us why we believe and occasionally serves as the best nutrition for our spirits. Being out there preaching to people is excellent, but it can also easily make us prickly and sap our strength. It might be simple to succumb to this hardheartedness and start doubting our convictions when we face a hardhearted environment. Spending time with others helps us realize that God gives us strength—it is always a good idea.

3. It Helps Us Grow

Together, we can all develop our religion and grow as people. Although prayer and reading our Bibles are excellent methods to draw nearer to God, we all have significant lessons to teach one another. When we gather in fellowship, we impart knowledge to one another. When we join together in fellowship, we model for one another how to live as God wants us to live and how to follow in His footsteps. God offers us the gift of learning and developing.

4. It Encourages and Guides Us

Everybody has bad days. We might become depressed for many reasons, including the death of a loved one, a failing test, financial difficulties, or even a crisis of faith. Going too far might cause resentment and a sense of being disappointed in God. However, it is at these moments of gloom when companionship is crucial. Spending time with other Christians can frequently help us feel a little better. They aid us in maintaining our focus on God. Additionally, God uses them to provide us with the resources we require through difficult times. Meeting with other Christians in fellowship can help us recover and urge us to keep moving forward.

5. It Reminds Us That We Are Not Alone

We are more likely to be reminded that we are not alone in this world when we gather with other Christians for worship and discourse. Everywhere there are believers. It is remarkable how meeting another believer can make you feel instantly at home, no matter where you are in life or the world. God emphasized fellowship because of this. He wanted us to band together so that we could always feel supported. We may create those enduring connections through fellowship to ensure that we are never alone in the world.

Spotting Fake Fellowship

While everyone can follow the steps of fellowship, not all fellowship is legitimate—it can be fake or incomplete. The extent of our fellowship only comes from within ourselves and is only as strong as our inherent human affinities, emotions, and relationships. 

Many friendships are only surface-level, and may not differ much from that found in a typical social group. 

We must acknowledge that this inadequate or unfinished friendship is all too typical in modern Christian congregations. Members of fake fellowships frequently act secretively and suspiciously because they are terrified of one another. 

Elements of True Fellowship

Genuine Christian fellowship, on the other hand, is active and always improving in terms of quality and depth. As it touches deeper facets of our personality more and more, it necessitates constant self-sacrifice and is constantly modest. 

True camaraderie talks with elegance and is seasoned with love, it comes without fear or flattery. 

It entails receiving and reacting, giving and receiving, blessing and gaining. It is not receiving food, assistance, attention, and prayer without returning the favor. Everything we own was given to us by the Son of God. We must thus give back to Him and our church to have a deep relationship with Him.

Who Are the Enemies of Fellowship?

  • The Imperfect Human Self: As we know from the Garden of Eden, humans are imperfect creations, susceptible to greed, envy, and disobedience. Overcoming the desires and temptations that come from deep within us is one of the biggest challenges as a Christian.
  • Satan and Temptation: Arguably two sides of the same coin, satan and temptation frequently inflict irreversible harm on structures of fellowship. When you leave room for Satan to draw out the worst in you, you allow him to lead you away from your church, God, and community.
  • Jealousy of Others: Jealousy is the most prevalent and difficult to notice of all the sins that break up a fellowship. On all levels of God's ministry, jealousy divides husband and wife, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, pastor and parish, and Christian partners and leaders.
  • Being Overly Critical: A flaw of humans is the ability to perceive the flaws in others but not ourselves. We are unaware that the ego we perceive in others also lives within us. Whenever we succumb to unfair criticism of our peers, we not only push those people away, but we also draw the curtain over our true selves.

How to Reconcile Broken Fellowship?

Reconciliation is crucial when personal ties break down. Jesus declared in the Bible “if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). Resentment, jealousy, and anger will overcome us, and distance us from our Lord. Reconciliation through open conversation and understanding is crucial in fellowship; just as God forgives us every day, we must learn to forgive our peers.

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