KOINONIA GROUPS

“They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship (Greek: koinonia), to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

summary

Small groups of 3-5 people will be facilitated weekly with three options:

  1. Online video chats,

  2. In-person with social distancing and masks required, and

  3. In-person with social distancing and masks optional.

 

 

purpose​​

To provide a way for believers to encourage each other to stay active in the word, in prayer, and in fellowship during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia."[1] 

 

commitment length

4 weeks

group structure

These fellowship groups will meet weekly and will follow the example of the early church as described in Acts 2:42. They will be self-directed with each group member devoting themselves to the others in the group by spending time in preparation prior to the meeting. The groups will last for one hour and will be divided into three sections of 20 minutes each: 1) the apostles' teaching (where participants will spend time discussing a section of scripture together), 2) breaking of bread and fellowship (each member will share a scripture or two they have prepared ahead of time that they personally found encouraging, convicting, or meaningful; eating together is also an option), and 3) prayer and praise. More details are explained below about each of these sections.

Apostles' Teaching (20 minutes)

This portion of the time will be spent discussing a passage of scripture together. These are the passages for each of the four weeks:

  1. James 1:19-27

  2. Romans 12:9-21

  3. Matthew 6:16-24

  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-18

You do not need to prepare ahead of time for this part. For each passage, read it together 2-3 times slowly, preferably in more than one translation. Then discuss your responses to the following questions:

  1. What did you find meaningful in this passage?

  2. What did you find convicting?

  3. What did you not understand?

  4. What does this passage say about God? [or Jesus or the Holy Spirit]

  5. What is God asking us to do?

  6. What are you going to do with that?

 

It would be helpful if at least one person has a study Bible for reference.

Breaking of Bread and Fellowship (20 minutes)

Breaking bread is "Luke’s term for what Paul calls 'the Lord’s Supper.' Quite possibly [the early Christians] practiced it differently than many churches do now, likely with a full meal. Still, the memorial to the Lord’s death until he comes again remains the central theme of believers breaking bread together. Quite likely, the phrase also describes Christians fellowshipping together at meal time."[2]  (Eating together will be optional due to the pandemic; when you register for the groups you can indicate your preference for eating or not.)

Another aspect of this time will be fellowshipping over spiritual bread. While the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God sent manna to feed them. They were instructed to go out each morning and gather just enough for that day. When Jesus came, he taught that he is the true bread from heaven, of which the manna was a symbol (John 6:32-35). In another place he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

During times of trial, it’s especially important that we are feeding on the words of God every day. In order to encourage one another to be faithful in this, one segment of the group time will be spent sharing with one another some daily bread we have gathered. In other words, every participant is expected to spend some time prior to the meeting gathering something from the Bible to share with others during the group time. This can be a verse or passage that you found encouraging, helpful, inspiring, or convicting. You can also share prayer requests with one another and offer words of encouragement according to these scriptures:

Philippians 2:1-2: “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” "Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ." First John 1:6-7: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

"A powerful example of what koinonia should look like can be found in a study of the phrase 'one another' in the Bible. Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:161 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:221 John 3:113:234:74:11-12). That is what true biblical koinonia should look like." [3]

 

Prayer & Praise (20 minutes)

Everyone is to take a turn to pray and/or give thanks. If anyone prefers not to pray out loud on a given day, they can read a Psalm or another prayer recorded in scripture.

join us!

 

Please register here to join a group, or email us for more information.

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/koinonia.html

[2] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, p. 31). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] https://www.gotquestions.org/koinonia.html

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