Fellowship of the (coffee) Ring?


  So, if you have been reading as of late we have been talking about the purpose of church. No discussion about church would be complete without talking about fellowship. Perhaps my views on this subject won’t line up with the statistical percentages, but given the numbers of different environments I have been in and the “church culture” particular that is seen today, I would have to say we have really lost the meaning of fellowship.

  Today the culture places fellowship in high priority, even above teaching and preaching the word of God. Fellowship and discipleship have practically become synonyms, our ideas of fellowship consist primarily of gathering together, preferably around food, and having light-hearted conversations about the weather the children and the political climate, various up and coming church social events such as pot lucks, prayer meetings and pancake breakfasts, and of course sports related topics based on geography, time of year, and personal preferences.

  These things in and of themselves aren’t inherently a bad thing, they just really miss the mark when you look at biblical examples of fellowship i.e. the book of Acts  “Church” . ( emphasis mine)  Due to the fact that the secular world along with its relativistic and humanistic mind sets has polluted our body. Oh I know this will likely label me a fundamentalist, I don’t mind that is what I am. I believe in absolutes, that truth whether we choose to believe it or not does not negate the fact that it is true.

  In our wishy washy, pseudo caring composites of the body now fellowship, all is well because no real accountability exists, no responsibility is felt or acted upon and we can leave our after church coffee hour resting easy that we have fulfilled our need to participate with others of like precious faith.

  No wonder the world around us looks at us with disdain or joins us like it was a bowling league, because we fit in so well with the culture around us it really does seem there is little to no difference at all.

  I am not going to go into particulars about what fellowship is, if your really interested read the book of  “Acts” and then come back and talk to me… pleasee.  I won’t give up though in seeking, encouraging and lifting up the “Body” because the Church when it operates as it is meant to, brings Glory to God and through it changes the hearts of economies, politics and the hearts of men.  I would love to talk about this more,  I would even meet you for a coffee…

JT

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About JT

I am a happily married man with 6 children and have an autoimmune disease. I hope to share my story and explore others' stories and perhaps together both of our lives will be enhanced.
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8 Responses to Fellowship of the (coffee) Ring?

  1. Donald Miller says:

    Seems to me like you’ve been drinking too much coffee, JT. Everything that you described at the beginning of your essay seems like good, wholesome, and mentally healthy activity. Just my opinion, but I think that’s when people most display who they are. And most people are basically good. But is someone who’s trying to prove that he’s good, really accomplishing anything? I say enjoy life and be who you are. I don’t see how that could affect your relationship with God any.

    • JT says:

      I agree and as I stated these things in and of themselves aren’t bad, my emphasis on fellowship falling short has more to do with a deeper understanding of, and resulting activity of the relationship of believers who desire to treat fellow members in the body of Christ more like family. Family meaning actively participating in the practical caring that goes deeper than the perfunctory types of conversations alluded to in my post. Examples might include childcare, sharing of resources for someone out of work or helping with daily needs of some one recupperating from some illness or medical condition, practical accountability such as someone struggling with an addiction (rather than saying I’ll pray for you, how about showing up and spending time together and other various applications). Meaningful relationships take more than perfunctory cliches and this by and large isn’t happening on a regular basis. The reason I believe we fall short is that many treat their faith as something they do rather than who they are and that really is people just trying to put on a facade that says I am good. I don’t believe people are basically good, ( I know I’m not ) and while we do recognize goodness we often times base what we believe is good from a perspective of the world around us which in my estimation is a flawed standard in which to measure goodness. Please don’t misinterpet my meaning here many good things happen and many people desire to do good… But when we use God as a standard of what goodness is, it isn’t hard to see that as a self-centered people we operate out of goodness that benefits us primarily. If you take God out of the equation it appears that there is no problem and that is where points of view seperate.

      Thanks for your comments and helping me to see how my posts are perceived.

      • Donald Miller says:

        Cool. Your reply was a bit more informative than the post was , though, on those points. 😉

        You said, “how about showing up and spending time together and other various applications”

        Well, now let’s not get carried away. Why do all that when you can say, “By ye warmed and filled.” That’s quick and easy, just the way we like things in our fast-paced day and age.

      • JT says:

        Yes the microwave mentality… is killing more than our food 🙂 Sorry about running on so long there, That is part of the problem, I set my sights on keeping my posts short as a lot of people don’t want to spend a lot of time reading blogs. I figured if there was something people wanted to discuss in more detail it could be done through the comments or even an e-mail.

      • Donald Miller says:

        I’m beginning to wonder how important it is trying to predict what the reader might want. I like to shoot for 750 and 1250 words and try to make it as interesting as I can. Sadly, many people don’t have a long enough attention span to even make it over to the site.

      • JT says:

        I use to average between 600 and 1000 and as time went on I started playing with the size of the post. If I was only posting once a week or so I would probably make them longer and at times I do go longer… I don’t know there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rules about it.
        Based on what I have seen of your site so far, it appears if have put a lot of thought and work into it.

  2. Charlie says:

    I once read an article on fellowship (in Christianity Today, I think) that said that fellowship in the biblical sense always includes time with Scripture and an involvement with how God is at work in us, as well as prayer. Social conversations are an important part (prelude perhaps) of life together, but time consciously spent together in the presence of God is essential.

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