Questions on fellowship and worship


Recently Mark  asked some questions in my last post and I thought I’d answer them in this way.  But first for those who missed it, here are his questions:

I have a few questions just to help me clarify your perspective.

Do you think it’s ok to attend a fellowship (the bible says: do not forsake the “gathering” of the saints) or MUST we attend a church building?

If it’s ok to have fellowship, then can a fellowship gather in non-church buildings like a home?

What is the minimum size for a fellowship? 10? 100? 2? 3?

Can people fellowship over coffee?

Mark, thanks for the questions!  Here’s my take on them:  Fellowship or Gathering?

I think that these two things you mention in your questions are two different things.  They only seem the same by our 21st century definitions.

Fellowship in first century terms is a”participation in” being a partaker or partner.  The way we use the term today is like “get together” or sharing.  If we “participate in” one another or “partake or partner with ”  one another what does that mean?  or what does that look like?

Well, it would certainly be a partnership of belief, a participation in God’s written word, which has the power to change lives if listened to and obeyed.

So might I suggest to you that the very Word made flesh calls us to communion with God through Himself and with one another.  Fellowship and communion have the same basic root word in Greek.  This is why I’ve come to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Non-believers can have fellowship with one another but just what are they “partaking in” or participating in or uniting themselves with?

We as Christians, are participating “in” Christ in the words of scripture and in the Word made flesh, (Holy Communion).  Which leads me to say that there is a time for discipleship(instruction) and this can be informal such as over coffee, or in your breakroom at work.  But this is not the same idea as shared in Hebrews 10:25.  That letter was written to Jewish converts to Christianity and as they were being persecuted, they wer being tempted to forsake Christ and return to Judaism.  So they were called to find strength together in worship and in practice, holding fast to their faith, as verse 23 states.

So to really sum up; true “church” is celebrated where Christ is.  Can that be at my house?  Certainly!  The early church met “house to house, breaking the bread and obeying the apostles teaching”  Acts 2:42-46.

Where 2 or 3 are gathered there am I in the midst.  Is it ONLY at my house?  No!  The church building is a sign to the world, a witness that “the Lord rewards those who diligently seek Him.”  Both are useful and necessary in our spiritual journey, so I would encourage you to do both!

Thanks for bringing this up.  It’s a great subject for a post!

 

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3 Responses

  1. Amen and amen brother.

    Yes where two or more are gathered… so a church building is appropriate and so is a house and so is a coffee spot.

    The goal and orientation and focus is Christ. Christ in us, or Christ through us to someone else (otherwise known as “love”)

    The only problem with confining ourselves to a house church is that we lose out on corporate worship.

    The only problem with attending a church is we lose out on nurturing relationships which build and heal and strengthen.

    The only problem with coffee fellowships is too much caffeine! heheheh. Kidding.

    You get my point… there are pros and cons everywhere. I find that I go through seasons. Sometimes this, sometimes that. It’s not one size fits all. The Kingdom of God is WITHING us… but the scripture also says it is AMONG us. Hallelujah!

    God bless you,
    Mark.

    His blessings to you, also.
    Tim

  2. Tim,

    Wonderful post, as always! I think Catholics could use a bit more “home fellowship” groups… Of course, as long as what is discussed is in line with what the Church teaches! I believe these smaller groups help to bring about a deeper bond within the body of Christ. I never stopped attending my Protestant home fellowship group because I can’t find a Catholic equivalent. It is my goal, however, to look into starting one!

    I’m no longer standing in the doorway… I’m HOME!

    God bless and I hope you all had a lovely Easter!

    Thanks Amber….and welcome Home!
    Tim

  3. I thought I’d place this here. It is a response to another blog, but I think it rings true with these questions as well:
    It is true that only Christ leads to heaven. And this is exactly why He created His Church. To proclaim the good news of the kingdom, from generation to generation. All the great theologians and laymen evangelist and the like have died, and yet the Church lives on. “The gates of hell will not prevail against it”. Why can’t we see the promises of God in the miracle that is the Church, the one that Christ Himself founded? We are so quick to give God the glory and praise for the miracles in our own individual lives (and rightly so) yet so quick to doubt the continued work of the Holy Spirit through His Church.
    We must understand it is not a “one against the other” situation, Jesus left the Church here as “a city on a hill” for the world to see, to come to, and to hear the message of salvation, and as a source of strength and refreshment for His children.
    My 2 cents. Thanks, Tim

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