We began a new series at First Church this week. It is called “We are the Church”. Our goal is to take a deeper look at our Mission Statement and how we can live it out as individuals and the church. Unfortunately, when some people hear the word “church”, they only think of a building or something you do. Instead, we need to realize that the “church” is a group of people. We are the church.
If we are primarily talking about when we talk about church, than that has some implications for how we view the church. I talked about what it means to be a community of faith on Sunday, but there is one aspect that I want to emphasize here: fellowship.
Fellowship is a word that gets thrown around churches a lot. It’s usually connected to a cup of coffee or potluck meals after church. It’s the 2 minutes we spend greeting each other in the middle of the church service. It’s the absent minded “Hey! Good to see you!” we toss out to the person in the next pew over as the service begins.
But fellowship is so much more than that. Fellowship in the church is not meant to be superficial. We are supposed to invest in one another on a deeper level. The word “fellowship” in Acts 2:42-47 is the word koinonia. The word has the sense of “participation” as well as “fellowship”. In other words, when you have koinonia with someone, you are participating in their life. You are invested. If you participate in someone’s life, you are going to care deeply about them and make decisions for their good, not just your own.
This is the kind of fellowship that God desires to see in the church. It can be easy to settle for superficial fellowship. Koinonia takes commitment, effort, and vulnerability. But it is worth it in the end.