Seek True Fellowship, Not Mere Socializing
“We have such good fellowship at our church,” she said.
“That’s great,” I replied, “but how do you know?”
“Because so many people linger after the services to talk.”
Well, what occurs between people after the service might be fellowship, but it might be mere socializing. Socializing (such as talking about the news, weather, work, or other matters) is a good part of life, but socializing is not the same as fellowship. Unbelievers can socialize; only Christians can truly fellowship. But far too often we think we’ve enjoyed the rich feast of fellowship when we’ve only snacked on sometimes tasty but spiritually empty socializing.
At its simple best, fellowship involves two or more Holy Spirit-indwelled people talking about God and the things of God. But we do this far less than we imagine. Think—when was the last time you had a spiritually stimulating conversation with another believer? And yet the Christians in the book of Acts were so devoted to fellowship with each other that in the first description of the activities of the first church only their listening to the apostles preach and teach is listed ahead of it (see Acts 2:42).
A significant part of the Lord’s ministry to us comes through others in whom He lives. And He intends for us to experience much of this comforting, encouraging, instructing, reproving, guiding, and sustaining ministry through fellowship. But if we talk with our brothers and sisters almost exclusively about things even worldlings (me: I love this word!!) can discuss and understand, we deprive ourselves of many touches from Heaven.
True fellowship seldom occurs unintentionally, especially among those who do not yet see the difference between fellowship and socializing. Enjoy socializing with other Christians, but discipline yourself to talk more about things that matter, and talk about them as though they do matter.