Fellowship and Community

I need your help.

I was having a discussion with a friend about the church and its use of the words “fellowship” and “community” to describe what it does and the “atmosphere” it feels it creates for those that attend etc.

We mentioned that often the church uses those words interchangeably (e.g. “we enjoy great fellowship here at…” or “we enjoy great community here at…”) and to be honest I don’t think you can.

I think there is a distinct difference between the use and meaning of “fellowship” to that of “community” and to use them out of context begins to give false impressions of the church to those who attend and to those who don’t.

I have my thoughts on the differences but before I post them I’d like to hear from you.

What does “fellowship” and “community” mean in the context of the church?

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3 Comments

Filed under church, God Stuff, Random

3 responses to “Fellowship and Community

  1. Fellowship, to me, means pulling our resources to strengthen one another spiritually.

    Community, to me, means pulling our resources to live life together and meet each other’s physical needs.

  2. Eddy-
    I will take a try at it.

    Community can be experienced by any group of people: a sports team, a book club, a class. It involves a sense of belonging and encouragement.

    Fellowship, as described in the New Testament, involves an element of mystery. It describes the union that we have with Christ and that we share as His people because of Him. I think that we have taken this term and removed the mystery. We have made it equivalent with community. I think it is something different, something more.

    Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” I wonder what my church would look like if I used that as one of our slogans?

    “Come join our fellowship of suffering!”

    Maybe community only involves belonging while fellowship must also involve believing?

    I don’t know, I’ll be anxious to read your thoughts.

  3. Pingback: Fellowship and Community #2 « My Authentic Life

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