2 Corinthians 8:4
Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
The world we live in is a fellowship-crazed society. Many churches have focused more on fellowship but have missed where true fellowship is found. We call social gatherings a fellowship when God calls ministering to others fellowship. The difference between a social gathering and true fellowship is that nothing is accomplished with a social gathering, but the enjoyment of serving others helps to better others and gives you true joy.
Paul said that fellowship is found in the ministering to the saints. It is interesting that Paul did not say that fellowship is found in church potlucks. He did not say that church activities of pleasure are where you find fellowship. Paul said that fellowship is found in ministering. One reason we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church is because we come to church to minister, which results in getting the need for fellowship met. You will find that those who seek fellowship in activities of pleasure are never satisfied, but those who seek fellowship through ministering to others are always satisfied. Let me share some thoughts about the importance of true fellowship through ministering.
First, you get more fellowship by serving to prepare for social gatherings than those who attend the social gathering. I am not against a church having social gatherings or activities of pleasure, but it is those who prepare for these events who get the most fulfillment of fellowship. The nursery worker goes to the nursery to care for the babies, but while caring for the babies, they find their need for fellowship met by ministering with others to care for those babies. This could be said about any ministry. Those who serve find fellowship; whereas, those who are served clamor for fellowship and could find true fellowship if they served.
Second, I do not have to talk much with someone to fellowship with them in ministering. I fellowship more with those I serve with while I minister than I would if I spent time playing with them. You always fellowship more through serving others than you ever will through sitting down and talking. I am close to many people, not because I try to be close, but I minister with them and a close bond of friendship is established through the time of fellowship we enjoy while ministering to others.
Third, you learn more about others through ministering than you ever will through playing. I find out more about people, things that help me to hold them in higher regard by serving with them. You will never learn the great qualities of people in social gatherings, but you find their great qualities by ministering with them through battles.
Fourth, you get close to people through ministering together. The more you serve with others, the closer you become. I am close to my father-in-law, Bro. Steve Heidenreich, not because we socialize, but because we serve together. Lifetime friends are always discovered in ministering together and not in playing together.
Do you find yourself in need of fellowship? Your need for fellowship is God’s warning signal to get involved in ministering to others. All your fellowship needs will be met when you get busy serving with others to minister to others.