What is FELLERSHIP?

Why the word fellership instead of fellowship?

First let me say we all have heard and used the word fellowship.  We've also probably heard the saying that fellow - ship is fellows in a ship together.  That's a good example.  I can think of three reasons I chose the word "fellership" to distinguish this word from some of the more modern usages of the common term "fellowship."

 1). In many circles "fellowship" has come to mean merely a social gathering consisting of propagating rumors, gossip, eating and vacuous other chit chat.  “Fellership” does include social exchange and mutual pleasance of sharing , but its core should be spiritual. 

2). Then there is also the dark cloud of DIS-fellowship or refusal to "fellowship" with certain "brethren and/or "sistren" due to differences of opinion, doctrine, or interpretation of scripture.  Eventually Christians feel they can only "fellowship" with like minded believers; in other words those who agree with me and my gang. 

3). I like the sound of the word fellership (selfish, I know).  It conveys an informal "country-fied" picture and since Alice and I live out in the country, it kinda fits the local vernacular.

 Flowing and sharing together in life

To me, "fellership" is a flow of life one to another.  In particular the flow of God's life - Spirit to spirit (and visa versa).  I John 1:3 says, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."  Also v.7  "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin."  Things shared that are "seen and "heard" as well as "walking in the light" (as Adam did) bespeak relationship and intimacy.

 If we have received and enjoyed the life of our Lord, we will also seek out others who have that same flow of life in common with us.  When we meet (even for the first time), we spontaneously KNOW we are family; there is an immediate connection!  We also will have a desire to share that life with others who may not know His life yet.  I'm not speaking of merely preaching with words or "browbeating," but living what and Who we believe.  It is that hunger and desire to declare to others what we have seen and heard, experienced and enjoyed that fuels "fellership."  It's NOT through the power of persuasion, but the power of God's love and nature that we reach out to others. 

 "Fellership" is practical

Practically speaking "fellership" is made possible by being sensitive to all those within our circle: workers, schoolmates, neighbors, kinfolk, friends and even strangers (to name a few).  Jesus got together with such and related to them on their own turf, joining them in what they ate and drank (even produced more) while learning their needs and meeting them as the Father directed.  "Fellership" provides opportunity for the same within our own frame of reference.

 Unfortunately "fellership" does have a limitation: time.  But as to the who, where and how, it is limitless.  It could be while standing in a bank line, in a vehicle, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a tree, in a hospital, while traveling and yes, even at "church."  I think the most apropos place for “fellership” is in a home, especially around the table.  Informal settings seem to be the best, but there are always exceptions.  Jesus said the "Wind" (referring to the Spirit) blows where it wills, so that leaves God lots of room to work . 

The best side of "fellership"

Now that's ONE side of “fellership.”  The other side is even better.  Our “fellership” is ALSO with our Father and His Son!  God actually longs for that same “fellership” with us as much as we long for that “fellership” with Him.  It was that kind of "fellership" that Jesus had with His Father while on earth.  Of course Jesus has an eternal advantage and privilege of position that only the Son of God could have.   Nonetheless, He was a living example for us to emulate.  This type of "fellership" is a two way street, but even more than that, it's a communion.  It is a communication and flow of life that produces and springs out of an intimate union.  Hmmm, now just exactly how does that work?  Jesus had to go through an arduous process to make this two-way fellership possible.  God, through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ has now given us His Spirit.  It is the Spirit of God that is the link that connects us to Himself.  "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (I Cor. 6:17)  Now that is intimate!! 

 How does it begin?

When we are born again, born from above, we receive the life of God via His Spirit, His holy Breath/Wind and we are born of Spirit.  Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the <s>Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."  God's Spirit is the same link that Jesus had when He was on earth.  That spiritual oneness that Jesus prayed for is made possible by God's Spirit in us.  Jn 17:21 says Jesus came that He might bring the Father to us and us to the Father and that just as He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, we also may be ONE in God via His Spirit.  It is that oneness and communion that the world will see in our lives and thus believe that God sent Jesus.

 So "fellership” is vertical and horizontal.  How can others know and learn of God's love?  It is ONLY by first experiencing His love personally.  You can't preach it, explain it, force it, manipulate it, or persuade anyone of it.  God's love MUST be experienced.  Everyone really wants this love, but God has had such "bad press" for so long and so many folks are deceived, confused, and frustrated due to that distortion of truth.  Only those who have experienced His love can now live by God's nature and love in such a way that others will see God in us.  Whenever that connection is made --- FELLERSHIP has begun!

 Charlie