picture by http://www.wnyc.org/
Well, out for a morning of fellowship with walkingchurch this a.m. and I went back through some information on this word Koinonia that fascinated me then and even more now. What fellowship and community and coming alongside one another means and what that looks like. Walkingchurch is coming into its own and with Jesus as the central focus in any activity, it becomes a true blessing from God. I think He is teaching each one of us so many things that a walk around the park can be just that or so much more.
This information came from a couple of different sources and having now lost those....I am very bad at keeping track of information. If this is something you sent or recommended to me.......sorry. This word koinonia......has many different meanings...these are the ones that touch my heart today.
Koinonia is the anglicisation of a Greek word that means partnership or fellowship. The word is used frequently in the New Testament of the Bible to describe the relationship within the early Christian church. As a result the word is used frequently within Christian circles to describe the fellowship and community of Christians - or more frequently the idealised state of fellowship and community that should exist. Many Christian organisations use the word Koinonia in their titles, particularly if one of their objectives is the establishment of community.
The Spiritual Meaning of Koinonia The word has such a multitude of meanings that no single English word is adequate to express its depth and richness. It is a derivative of "koinos," the word for common. Koinonia, is a complex, rich, and thoroughly fascinating Greek approach to building community or teamwork. Those who have studied the word find there is always an implication of action included in its meaning. The definition of the word is quite rich in that there are many connotations because the word used in a variety of related contexts.
Fellowship : To create a bond between comrades is the meaning of koinonia when people are recognized, share their joy and pains together, and are united because of their common experiences, interests and goals. Fellowship creates a mutual bond which overrides each individual’s pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with fraternity, belonging, and companionship. This meaning of koinonia accounts for the ease by which sharing and generosity flow. When combined with the spiritual implications of koinonia, fellowship provides a joint participation in God’s graces and denotes that common possession of spiritual values. Thus early Greco-Roman Christians had a fellowship with God, sharing the common experience of joys, fears, tears, and divine glory. In this manner, those who shared believed their true wealth lay not in what they had, but in what they gave to others. Fellowship is never passive in the meaning of koinonia, it is always linked to action, not just being together, but also doing together. With fellowship comes a close and intimate relationship embracing ideas, communication, and frankness, as in a true, blessed interdependent friendship among multiple group members.
Community : The idea of community denotes a “common unity” of purpose and interests. By engaging in this united relationship a new level of consciousness and conscience emerges that spurs the group to higher order thinking and action, thus empowering and encouraging its members to exist in a mutually beneficial relationship. Thus community and family become closely intertwined, because aiming at a common unity strives to overcome brokenness, divisiveness, and, ultimately gaining wholeness with each of the members, with their environment, and with their God. By giving mutual support, friendship and family merge. Both fellowship and community imply an inner and outer unity. No where in the framework of community is their implied a hierarchy of command and control. While there is leadership, the leader’s task is to focus energy, and align interests, not impose control. Koinonia creates a brethren bond which builds trust and, especially when combined with the values of Wisdom, Virtue and Honor, overcomes two of humanity’s deepest fears and insecurities: being betrayed and being demeaned. Whether working collectively or individually, the innovators of ancient Greece worked for the greater good of the whole – to propel their community forward, to share their understanding with others so that all ships would rise on a rising tide. Thus loftier goals and dreams are more easily manifested in the mind and achieved in reality.