The word used in the New Testament for what we usually refer to as “fellowship” is koinonia. The root meaning of koinonia is “to hold something in common.” Koinonia speaks to a joining together for a common purpose.
I think too frequently we Christians don’t experience true fellowship because they are too easily satisfied with triviality. Our thoughts and talk is filled with things that have no real lasting significance or depth. J.P. Moreland writes, “too much of what passes for fellowship today is trite conversation that has no clear goal for its purpose.”*
I think he’s right. Sure, we should be able to laugh, and it’s probably even healthy to have moments of levity. One need not be somber all the time! But trivial pursuits seem to dominate the lives and conversations of so many professing believers both young and old! Is this the kind of community that Jesus had in mind for his followers and modeled with the twelve disciples? Is this the kind of lilfestyle that the early church modeled?
They had a message and an experience that had so profoundly impacted them that they were willing to be persecuted, endure financial hardship, and even die for it. And in the midst of their Christ centered, Gospel motivated purposefulness they experienced not boredom or despair, but incredible joy!
When we Christians gather, we need to be remember our common purpose and re-ignite our passion for the Great Commission. As we do so and intentionally work towards more fruitful conversations with other believers, I believe we can experience something more closely resembling biblical koinonia.
[J.P. Moreland. Love the Lord Your God with all Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. NavPress. Colorado Springs. 1997. p 172.]