“It’s time to enjoy some koinonia.”
That sounds like I’m talking about a Japanese flower or some kind of sushi, doesn’t it? But koinonia is more beautiful than any flower and more nourishing than sushi.
Koinonia is about fellowship. Koinonia is about community. Koinonia is about you connecting with others from Forest Baptist outside the walls of our church meeting house.
God never meant for you to walk the Christian life alone. Spending time with your spouse (and kids) is good, but it’s not a substitute for fellowshipping with others in the body of Christ. God wants those, unrelated by blood but fully related by the Spirit, to be together. In fact, one of the simplest Bible definitions of the church reveals this. Philippians 1:27 says that the church should be
“together for the gospel.”
Christian isolation is antithetical to the good news. The gospel gives us unity. Our fellowship around the gospel gives us community. That’s our goal and purpose in providing a time for Koinonia Connection.
Consider it this way…
We would all agree that it takes discipline to pray, right? Prayer takes work. We would also agree that it takes time and effort to listen to a sermon, right? During the sermon, sleep can tempt us and our “to do” list can distract us. But hopefully, we are fighting against these urges to listen, instead, to God’s Word. We have to even force ourselves, from time to time, to do these things. This is nothing new. The early church had to do the same.
Acts 2 puts it this way. The early believers were “continually devoting themselves” to listening to sermons and praying. They put forth the effort and energy to do these because, in the end, they knew it pleased God and was well worth it.
But, guess what else they made the time for? You got it – koinonia (That’s the Greek word for “fellowship” in vs. 42). Now, think about what this means.
The early church valued preaching, prayer, and Christian fellowship as having the same level of priority in their lives. All three were worthy of work and effort. They disciplined themselves to pray. They disciplined themselves to listen to God’s Word. But they also disciplined themselves to know each other and enrich the church.
Do you work hard at knowing others in the church? Do you spend time with church members outside of Sunday morning? Do you make Christian fellowship a priority like they did? We should. That’s precisely why we’ve started our new Sunday night emphasis called Koinonia Connection. It is a voluntary, informal time for building community at FBC on Sunday evenings.
So how can you enjoy some koinonia tonight? I’m glad you asked. Here’s a few ideas that may help.
1. Invite others over for dinner on Sunday evenings.
Let’s start where the Bible starts. Acts 2:46 tells us that “from house to house, the believers were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God…”.
Let’s be honest. You’re eventually going to eat dinner at some point on Sunday night, right? Why not do it with another family from church? Rest assured, it doesn’t have to be something expensive or elaborate. In fact, I say, the more informal the better.
2. Invite a different set of new members into your home each month.
This is a great way to get to know the new families that God is bringing to us. Whether for dinner, dessert, or just simple discussion this is a great way to build community.
3. Invite a group to fellowship through an activity or sport.
Koinonia Connections don’t have to happen indoors or even over food. With the beautiful spring weather, we have plenty of opportunities to connect with each other outside. Get a group together to play Frisbee golf, ride motorcycles, or just go for a walk in the park. As our lives intersect, as we share our burdens, and as we pray for each other we will build koinonia.
4. Invite a college student, widow (-er), or single person into your home.
Loneliness is a sad part of life. Many people are too embarrassed to admit that loneliness haunts them. Why not find someone who may be prone to this, like a student or widow, and make them feel at home in your home? Share a meal. Ask them questions. Find out their testimony. Help cure any loneliness that they may have.
5. Invite others over for an evening of “Coffee, Cake, & Conversation”
I prefer to call it “Decaf & Discuss”. Don’t know what to talk about? Talk about the morning’s sermon using the Koinonia Questions on the back of the sermon notes page. Sip on a latte, munch on some cake, and be fed on God’s Word. A boxed cake will cost about $2. A pot of coffee costs about $1. But the fellowship around God’s Word will be priceless! I guarantee it…or your money back!
Did you notice how every suggestion in this list began? Every one begins with the word “invite”. That’s something YOU have to do. I can’t make you do this. But I sure hope you will. I’ve heard some people saying, “I like the new Sunday night emphasis, I just hope it works.” Trust me…it will work, if YOU do it.
My point is this: don’t wait for someone else to connect with you. I hope you will take the opportunity to connect with them first. Take the initiative and today, before you leave, find someone and extend a warm invitation to join you for some koinonia tonight. Look for a new member, an old member, a staff member, or a class member and make plans to build community together.
I have one last favor to ask. As you enjoy your Koinonia Connection times, please share with me how God has used it in your own life. Let me know what you did, how you did it, and what God did as you spend time with each other. Email me. Call me. Stop me in the hall and tell me how you’ve connected with others in the church. I thrive on knowing that our church family is growing together in the Lord. So, please don’t forget to share your Koinonia Connection stories.
May God help us, through our Koinonia Connection, to be more “together for the gospel” than ever before.