I love fellowship, if by “fellowship” you mean reading books alone in my office with the door closed.
Churches are all about fellowship. Fellowship is all about talking to each other and eating food. I’m cool with eating food.
I’ve never been a fan of talking. I never feel like I have anything relevant to add to any conversation. All my stories are lame and easily topped. My facts are usually wrong. My political insights are easily destroyed strawman opinions. Anything remotely good I share comes across as bragging.
I’d prefer silence at meals. As the great theologian, George Thorogood said, “When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself.”
The best times of Christian fellowship I’ve ever had are one-on-one conversation. Group gatherings drain me and lead to very little in the way of edification. Generally it’s just people talking over one another. Fellowship leads to headaches for me.
I prefer going home, sitting in my chair and fellowshipping with dead authors. Why does fellowship always have to be with living, talking people?
A. W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, C. S. Lewis, and so many others have such great insights that provoke so much thought and growth in me. It’s hard to convince me that going and talking about the weather and the football game would be better.
I’ve learned too much from dead people to ever be swayed into spending lots of time with living people.
Now, I know, I know, fellowship is important and people who isolate themselves with their dead authors typically go crazy and become heretics. It’s true; you do need to spend time with people. But I do think fellowship is often not what it’s cracked up to be.
Most fellowship done in church is just small talk, very little of it is edifying or spiritual or biblical in nature. I really don’t need to hear your opinions about the president or instant replay. I can check Facebook if I want that. And I don’t.
Real fellowship consists of biblical discussion and personal testimonies of fighting the fight of faith. I’d be all in for that. The reason I’d be all in for that is because there are about two people in your church who would even have anything to share there. Thus, the best fellowship is typically in one-on-one conversation.
Yes, there is a place for small talk and developing friendships through common interest. You have to reveal things about your life to be known and know others. But too much of our fellowship is just gossip and vain words.
Churches should try to facilitate actual edifying fellowship. No, I don’t know how this is done, so don’t ask me.
Attending a dinner that sounds like reading C. S. Lewis would be awesome. Lewis has no problem sharing opinions and personal testimonies of fighting through faith. That’s why people like to read him. Imagine conversing with people who have things like that to share? I could fellowship all day long.
But as long as church fellowship is centered on news and stories of crashing your cool car when you were 18, meh, I’d rather go home and read a book.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.