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Fellowship Defined


Fellowship is sharing in our common life in Christ.

For More on what we share in common: True Body Life Results in Fellowship

We engage in fellowship by relating to one another in oneness of heart through various means of serving each other in love.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:1-7)

Consequently, to define Christian fellowship in the Church we must acknowledge that …

Fellowship is not:

  • standing around talking with a cup of coffee in your hand
  • a one way street wherein one believer gives to or helps another

Fellowship is:

  • the mutual, reciprocal sharing of our life in Christ
  • the fulfillment of the one another commands of Scripture

For more on the reciprocal nature of fellowship, it’s important to understand the nature of the One Another Commands of Scripture.

Body Life Ministry ManualThe Body Life Ministry Manual contains this information in addition to the content in the Body Life Training section of the site. You’ll also find a complete list of the one another commands and an acrostic using the word FELLOWSHIP that pulls together how the one another commands tie into fellowship.


2 Replies to “Fellowship Defined”

    • Greetings in our Lord, John Essel. A simplistic answer to your questions is what Jesus said that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:20). Fellowship is what we share in common (koinonia), which is our bonds in Jesus. The term for church in the Greek, ekklesia, means a calling out or gathering of His people. So, church fellowship begins with the gathering together of His people. The early church gathering can serve as a model for us. See Acts 2:42-47 where they would come together for teaching, fellowship, worship, prayer, and serving one another … all centered around their common bonds in Christ Jesus. As a result God used them as a light in the world and so we read in that passage that “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). That’s the biblical criteria for being a church fellowship. To be officially acknowledged as a church fellowship requires adhering to regulations set forth by your government so it would be important to verify with legal counsel the steps you would have to take in your location. Here it involves legalities such as incorporating the church under the name chosen, filing for tax exemption status, establishing a mission statement and bylaws, etc. You would also choose a leadership team … pastor(s), elders, etc. Some will align with a denomination which then provides support with that process but that is not a requirement to become a church fellowship.

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