The Greek word Koinonia contains within it the meaning “fellowship” or “sharing”. One of the most vital elements of Christian development is when the saints meet together. Of course we gather in our larger corporate settings for worship and study of Scriptures, but it doesn’t end there.
Scripture tells us that we are to be a people given to hospitality. The word means “to receive as a guest”. In Acts 28:7 the word translated in the RSV as “entertained” comes from the same root word. These smaller settings are the times when we really get to know our brothers and sisters. We get encouraged to hear how they came to Christ. We get blessed to hear how He is working in their lives. And, yes, we also find that many of them are carrying a load that is just too much to bear alone. This often develops into a heart-to-heart time of sharing and praying.
As the Lord continues to add to the local church, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is for every one of us to “lock-in” to those home study/fellowship times. Relationships develop there. Prayer partners are birthed. And needs of the saints are often met as those needs are made known. Peter writes that we should all be part of this hospitality ministry. Don’t let your shyness rob you of this blessed fellowship. Don’t allow a bad experience in the past to deprive you of a blessing in the present. The church was created to have fellowship with God and with one another. I’ve noticed that when a person reaches out for fellowship that it is there, but the reclusive or “Why doesn’t anyone call or invite me over?” attitude often turns to bitterness and hurt. Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly”.
Face it, we are all very busy. For sure we all cannot get to know each other as deeply as we would like, but each one of us can reach out. We can extend that invitation to dinner to a lonely saint. We can drop a line of encouragement. We can suggest brunch after service to the “stranger” that we’ve worshipped with for some time. Hey, we can even open up our home for another “meal in the Lord”.
We are a body and we need each other. So communicate; don’t amputate! Get off the bench and get involved. Do it, and you’ll find you will be blessed as well.