Webster's Dictionary defines fellowship as: 1. Companionship; friendly association. 2. sharing of a mutual experience, interests, activities. 3. a group of people having the same interests. Once a month, the "senior citizens" of our church gather to fellowship as "members" of the Joy Club. We have a pot-luck dinner, and then the men and women split up to play games. We have a lot of fun joking and teasing each other, and enjoying the friendly camaraderie. Occasionally, a "youngster" or two will "crash" the party, but not often enough. All who love the Lord are welcome.
Recently, a fellow church member commented that what occurs there is not really Christian fellowship, because we don't have a Bible study, and the focus of our conversation is not about spiritual things. However, I would suggest that should an unbeliever attend, he or she would feel welcomed, but uncomfortable. Our language, our jokes, and the subjects of our discussions would immediately tell them we are not like them. There is something different about genuine Christians, and to the world, it sticks out like a sore thumb. We are different.
I looked up the word, "fellowship" in the Bible and it appears seventeen times. Only two of them occur in the Old Testament, where they both are warning against false or pretended friendship (Lev. 6:2; Ps. 94:20). There are three similar verses in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:20; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:11). But the majority of verses, twelve, have to do with a mutual bond between the brethren based upon that which we have in common: Jesus Christ. The Greek word, koinonia, has to do with activities that occur due to the group being like-minded. In Acts 2:42, fellowship is listed as one of the natural results of the Holy Spirit uniting people, along with learning the teachings of the Apostles, breaking of bread, and prayer. Notice it is listed separately from the others; they are not the same thing as fellowship.
The Apostle John declares that he was a witness for Jesus Christ so that others might believe and share fellowship with the brethren, who in turn, would have fellowship with the Father and His Son (1 Jn. 1:3). There is something, an unexplainable need, that makes a man want to share his discoveries with others. In 2 Kings 7:3-10, four lepers found out the Syrians had abandoned their camp, and they shared their good fortune with the besieged city. In Mark 1:40-45, a leper cleansed by Jesus could not keep his healing quiet, but he just had to tell others.
To me, Christian fellowship has to do with an unexplainable connection we have with others who are of like mind. Since becoming a believer in Christ, I have met thousands of Christians at yard sales, stores, restaurants, etc., with whom I had an immediate bond. There is a joy that wells up inside me at finding a new brother or sister in Christ. It is the same joy that I have when I see "members" of our Joy Club; even before a word is spoken, I feel love for them in my heart. That is why I believe it is the epitome of Christian fellowship. So, "Y'all come, ya hear!"