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Food for thought: What is koinonia?

From A New Testament Trilogy by Tom Johnston and Mike Chong Perkinson:
Hollywood hit [a] koinonia homerun as they powerfully illustrated that a fellowship or koinonia is in the movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. What Tolkien’s world tells us is that fellowship finds its origins in the context of mission. Where there is a purpose greater than ourselves or even the meeting of our own personal needs. Like the nine men in the movie who volunteered for the dangerous mission of returning the ring to Mt. Doom, we find ourselves in a similar situation in our churches and in our world. There is an evasive evil in our world that seeks to destroy us, and most of those that inhabit the earth, including many Christians, who are simply unaware of the danger that looms about us. God has placed it on the hearts of His people to make the journey to Mt. Doom, if you will, with the fellowship (that is, of the “Cross”) to destroy the evil influence (1 John 3:8b). It is a journey that has uneviable odds, enormous obstacles, and armies that outnumber and outclass us at every angle. It is the battle for our families, our cities, our state, our country, and even our world. Our Mt. Doom, like that of Tolikien’s world seems impenetrable by the likes of us and cannot be done by an army one. . . .

The biblical concept of koinonia, the basis of community, cannot take place unless there is a sense of commonality of heart and purpose—a mission that unites us. Koinonia for the Western 21st Century Christian has been reduced to potlucks or coffee and doughnuts. You know, “stay after the service and enjoy the fellowship.” True fellowship can only take place where people are willing to share their lives as they share their hearts for something bigger than themselves. . . .

Koinonia . . . begins with Jesus as we enter into communion with our risen Lord and from that relationship participate in the greater mission. . . . Out of this partnership comes a genuine and deep koinonia that knits souls together in a way that normal social gatherings at church cannot. Much like Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring, genuine fellowship takes place when people are committed to a common purpose.

(Image: New Line via Wikipeida)


Beth said…
Wow, I couldn't agree more! I left my former denomination and church in part due to that limited idea of "coffee fellowship." I spent 5 years worshipping and working next to those people and still hardly knew any of them.

However, I have found a glimpse of that "koinonia" where I am now and it makes ALL the difference. Transparency is valued and support of those who sincerely are seeking Him and the fellowship's help is treasured.

The messages/sermons/teachings we receive give us our vision, our "big picture" and then we put feet and hands to it when working with each other and the community around us. It's an awe-inspiring thing to see. I'm still stunned and humbled that I'm part of Jesus' love and plan in such a small way!
Carmen Andres said…
beth, i've really appreciated your comments on this blog. it is encouraging to hear about your fellowship experience. i really resonate with the idea of the messages/sermons/teachings nurturing that vision. please, whenever you are here and feel led, continue sharing those experiences. many blessings, carmen