Within the church body, we worship together, grow together, serve one another, disciple one another, and gaze at Christ together. Among all of the essential activities that take place within the life of the church, we should ask the question, “Are events that are geared primarily towards fellowship really necessary?” Is there value in “fun” events that may not necessarily accomplish specific ministry tasks? The resounding answer is “yes!” Fellowship events with our brothers and sisters in Christ present a key way we can deepen in familial love for and enjoyment of one another, strengthen the unity that God desires for His people, and experience a taste of the New Earth fellowship to come.

There should be considerable intentionality in fellowshipping with other believers, primarily among those who attend church together, because we share a core interest – Christ. We have been “adopted through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:5), and therefore we are “one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom. 12:5). Christ redeemed us and continually conforms us to His image “that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29). We are those who have believed and thus have everything in common, possessing one heart and soul (Acts 4:32). We must surround ourselves with our adopted family, our co-heirs, for we are united through our Savior.

Fellowship events provide the space and opportunity outside of ministry and service for friendships to be established, for love for one another to increase, and for bonds to be strengthened. And this is accomplished through the avenue of mutual experiences. To illustrate, close friendships exist in part because of shared experiences. Think of friends that do activities together simply to enjoy one another’s company, in contrast to those friends who rarely spend time together. When fellowship is devalued, tightly knit friendships dwindle, iron fails to sharpen iron, and biblical companionship weakens. But when fellowship is present, brotherly affection and love grows, and unity of heart and spirit deepens. And to our Lord, unity among brothers and sisters is a good and pleasant thing (Ps. 133:1).

One of the most beautiful ways fellowship events can affect our church family is the way in which fellowship stirs in us a reminder of and desire for the joyful rest that awaits God’s people. When we enjoy God’s gifts of each other and His creation, and ultimately Himself, we are experiencing a foretaste of the eternal, worshipful fellowship before us. Gathering with our brothers and sisters to rest, laugh, play, and delight in God portrays a shadow of the approaching great gathering before the throne of our God. We will one day enter a never ending event of fellowship, walking with the nations in the light of God’s glory (Rev. 21:23-24), in perfect joy, peace, and rest. Until then, may Christ Church be a church that fellowships together, increasingly knitting ourselves to each other in love and unity, and stirring eager anticipation for the final fellowship to come!