Fellowship with God
Since the beginning of time we have seen how the Lord, the Creator of all, has had a relationship with His creation. A desire to be in right relationship, fellowship, or abiding with them. We see it with Adam and Eve as He walked in the garden with them, to Noah where God promised a new covenant and commanded them to fill the earth again, to Abraham and the blessing of a great nation through his descendants, and to Israel being called the Lord’s special nation. Then there is a new covenant for both Jews and Gentiles to be in fellowship with the Almighty God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and not an eternal separation from our Creator. The opposite of fellowship is separation.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee describes fellowship as being in right relationship with God and being cleansed from our sin so we can be righteous and blameless before Him. The professor also depicts fellowship through the interaction Jesus has with the disciples in the Upper Room where He is washing their feet (John 13). Jesus is intentionally caring for His people and teaching them that they too must serve and care for one another (v. 12-17). It is a fulfilment of the commandments Jesus shares in Matthew 22:37-39, “‘Love the Lord your God… And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” The relationship between God and humankind is fellowship which is then lived out in the relationships we have with each other.
Fellowship with Believers
As God desired for us to be in fellowship with Him, He also wants us to be in fellowship with other believers. Typically fellowship in Scripture is defined as a deeper, mutual partnership centered around sharing biblical truths, actions, and words.
In Acts 2:42 is the first instance we hear the Greek word koinonia for fellowship or also meaning mutual spiritual involvement with and/or in one another’s lives.
From Acts 2-6, we see multiple examples of the believers living in fellowship with each other. They are sharing their goods and property, they are being taught the Scriptures and about Jesus, and they are caring for those in need in their communities. We see that fellowship is not a single practice but is part of four practices the early church had – apostles’ teachings, fellowship, breaking of the bread, and prayers. All were and continue to be today integral parts of establishing and being the Church, a body of believers.
The early Church is the example that is set out for us in every interaction we have with our brothers and sisters as an intentional, Christ-centred, caring, and reciprocated relationship to encourage, comfort, and exhort one another. John writes in 1 John 1:3 how believers have fellowship with them (the disciples) and other believers because of what they saw, and their fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. It is a triune relationship we are being called to participate in.
Fellowship on Prairie Campus
At Prairie we see “community” as the definition for students and staff alike to be in fellowship, intentional relationship with each other, throughout the college year. There are intentional spiritual growth activities that have been put in place like chapels, Impact groups, Days of Prayer, conferences and service days (similar to gratis work that Prairie students used to do), for the purpose of putting action to faith and the theory students are learning in the classroom about the Word of God.
Students are purposefully grouped together in Impact groups that are biblical small groups of life-on-life discipleship or as the Bible describes it, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17 NIV) to learn how to be in fellowship with others.
The College’s motto, to know Christ and to make Him known, is foundational to our desire for students to see Prairie as a place to abide – to fellowship with God – and be in fellowship with believers so that they can be transformed for ministry in any career the Lord calls them to.
Prairie’s Global Network
As individuals leave the Prairie community for the next chapter God has for them they enter new communities to extend the network of fellowship they have learned at Prairie. The impact of alumni around the world has been seen for a century now because of the intentional biblical training to be in relationship with the Lord, with believers, and others who come to know Christ because of their life examples.
It is an encouragement to see how God continues to draw people here for training then sends them out and alumni return for fellowship at different conferences or reunions because this was integral in their spiritual growth and the relationships they made have lasted a lifetime.
We give glory to God for all He has done and continues to do through Prairie to make a greater impact around the world.
- “How to Have Fellowship with God,” article by Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Blue Letter Bible, accessed November 12, 2021, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mcgee_j_vernon/eBooks/how-to-have-fellowship-with-god.cfm
- “Fellowship with God,” sermon by C.H. Spurgeon, The Spurgeon Center for Biblical Preaching at Midwestern Seminary, accessed November 15, 2021, https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/fellowship-with-god/#flipbook/
- “A Theology of Fellowship,” article by Larry Oats, Maranatha Baptist Seminary, accessed November 12, 2021, https://www.mbu.edu/seminary/a-theology-of-fellowship/
- “Spiritual Growth,” Prairie College, accessed November 16, 2021, https://prairie.edu/current-students/spiritual-growth/
- “Impact Groups,” Prairie College, accessed November 16, 2021, https://prairie.edu/impact-groups/