This week, I had the privilege of guest blogging over at Gentile Next Door! I posted the content here on I Am Kelly, but would strongly encourage you to check out Patricia’s blog as well. She has a lot of great things to say, and is overall a pretty amazing person.
As soon as I saw that Patricia was going to start this blog series, I knew that I wanted to join in on the conversation.
Koinonia can mean many different things: community, sharing, contribution, intimacy, or fellowship.
Among Believers, Koinonia is not only fellowship with Christ, but is also fellowship with other Christians in a partnership of faith.
In the New Testament, Paul uses this word in reference to the intimate fellowship shared between the believing community and Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:9), as well for the sharing of material things.
(I definitely took this right from the word study Patricia so graciously provided)
So what does Koinonia mean to me?
For the past few days, I thought a lot about the idea of Koinonia, and how it truly relates to my own personal life.
My desire, and what I feel God has called me to do, is to enter into full time missions. Caleb and I have dreams of starting a school and an orphanage, and ultimately hope to make this our life’s work. However, this will never be accomplished without the help of fellow Believers.
We need prayer.
We need monetary donations.
We need friendships.
We need Koinonia.
This spirit of communion among other Believers is so vital to the success of our future ministry. Caleb and I need people to share in our triumphs, but more importantly, our failures.
I love when Paul writes to the church in Corinth and says:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3-7)
I cannot even begin to count the ways God has comforted me during what seemed to be the worst of times.
Yet, what kind of person would I be if I did not extend this same comfort and grace to others?
We need to encourage one another in Christ, but at the same time, we need to be willing to share in each other’s sufferings.
Like I tell the kids in my preschool class, “You need to have listening ears.” It’s so easy to listen without really hearing, which often clouds our ability to understand the needs of others.
That being said, Caleb and I need people to cry with us, to laugh with us, to guide us.
We need people to fight alongside us for our vision and our ministry.
It is so easy to get distracted and discouraged in this world, and that is when fellowship steps in and saves the day.
When you are one step closer to giving up, and you suddenly find someone else that says:
“I’ve been there, but this is not the end.”
This is Koinonia.