MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (January 25, 2021)

One of the unique characteristics of a true Christian church is the fellowship enjoyed by its members. In fact, this fellowship might be said to be the “hallmark” of our Christian identity! Along with preaching the truth of God’s word, the Kingdom of God has always been known by the love and fellowship displayed among its members.

What exactly is fellowship? How do we engage in it? And why do we do it? I hope to expound upon these questions over the next few weeks.

So, what exactly IS fellowship? Well, it is more than just “showing up.” The Greek word for this concept is “κοινωνία” (koinonia), which denotes “partnership,” or “joint participation.” The idea is of a joint undertaking in which each member contributes. In other words, there must be participation on your part if true fellowship is to be enjoyed!

Under this biblical concept, just showing up on Sunday and saying “hi,” or sitting down and eating a meal occasionally at church, is not enough. True fellowship occurs when church members actively engage one another on a personal level. It is the concept of contribution to a joint venture, not of money but of ourselves! Proverbs 18:24 teaches us that “a man that hath friends must shew himself friendly. . . .” In other words, you can’t expect others to engage in fellowship with you unless you engage in fellowship with them! Fellowship requires active participation.

Fellowship also requires unity of purpose. Notice, however, that “unity” does not necessarily mean “uniformity”. We do not necessarily all think the same way about everything! Some of us enjoy hunting, others fishing; some enjoy football, others baseball; some work in one profession, others in a different occupation; but ALL of us are in “one accord” when it comes to church!

In Acts 1:14, the apostles were said to be in “one accord.” What does it mean to be in “one accord”? It means to be of one mind, with one passion. The early church was in one accord with regard to their love and worship of God. They met together, ate together, and worshipped God together. And guess what? You need to be in one place to achieve this! Church attendance is essential to our fellowship! See Heb. 10:19-25.

Fellowship was clearly important to the early church. In Acts 2:42, it is said of the Apostles and disciples that “they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” It was through these efforts that the Lord blessed the early church to grow and expand throughout Eastern Asia, and into Europe.

And you know something else? Fellowship is important to God! The prophet Malachi writes, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Isn’t this amazing? When those who fear the Lord come together in true gospel fellowship, God writes it down in His book of remembrances! How awesome is that? The Almighty God, who sits high on His throne in heaven, looks down on lowly men and approves when they come together in fellowship in His name.

Fellowship should also be important to us today. Too often I have seen churches where, if the preacher didn’t walk to the back of the church during the closing prayer, he would never get a chance to shake hands with his congregation! Like a slingshot, the members bolt for the door as soon as church is over! Friends, that is not how true fellowship is supposed to work.

I’m thankful that we experience this kind of love and fellowship here at Zion Primitive Baptist Church. Many times on Sunday mornings and nights, and Wednesdays too, the members will hang around for upwards of an hour just fellowshipping together. Seems like more than once I’ve had to run everybody off in order to get a chance to eat lunch or dinner!

I’m just kidding about the previous statement, by the way: there is NOTHING more beautiful than seeing and hearing the sweet fellowship among God’s family here at Zion. Would to God that we could dwell here constantly together, speaking often to one another, while God watches on like the wonderful Father He is, enjoying the fellowship among His children!

May we all be encouraged to seek one another out this week and share this sweet fellowship as we await with anticipation the hour of worship coming back around next Sunday!

In Christ,

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor