Koinonia Means to Be Partners
2 Corinthians 13:10-13 contains Paul’s final greetings and benediction to the sisters and brothers of the church at Corinth. While the word “koinonia” is not found therein, it aptly describes what Paul is hoping will occur in the Corinthian church.
“Koinonia” literally means “to share,” or “to be partners.” As we consider the implications of the charge to “koinonia” in our congregations these understandings shed light on our task.
As the church we are challenged to share in the ministries to which we are called. We are not to be “lone ranger” Christians. We are to labor together, to share in God’s work.
As the church we are to be partners with God and one another. Partners work together, pray together, celebrate together. Partners have a common purpose and goal. We are partners in the work of stewardship as well as a host of other concerns.
This understanding of the nature and meaning of our call to koinonia has a definite impact upon our congregations. We have much to do but we do not have to face the tasks alone; we can share the burden with our partners.
—Rev. Terry Maynard
- According to Paul what can individuals do to insure koinonia within their part of the body of Christ? (see 2 Corinthians 13:11-12)
- How does the congregation to which you belong emphasize koinonia?
- The church of Paul’s day seemed more intent on fellowship or koinonia than the Church of our generation. What do you think contributes to that?
- 2 Corinthians 13:13 includes the benediction “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Some say this benediction follows the order of human experience. Do you agree or not? Why?
How Do I Act?
- List all the fellowship activities your congregation has been involved in during the past month. What more could you do to enhance the koinonia of the congregation to which you belong? Brainstorm this question and make plans to add several fellowship opportunities to your church’s calendar. If your church doesn’t have a fellowship committee, you may want to get one started.
- Interview the new members of your congregation about the friendliness of the church. If you have done a spiritual gifts survey, approach those who have the spiritual gift of hospitality about their willingness to plan a welcoming activity.
- Plan a fellowship event for your congregation that has not been a part of the ministry of your church in the past five years.
- Sing the hymn “Blest Be the Time That Binds.”