Buildings, Assembly Halls, Fellowship Halls
- The church is commanded to come together for the purpose of worship and encouragement - I Corinthians 11:18, 20, 33; Hebrews 10:25
- The purpose of coming together as a church is specifically separated from eating meals - I Corinthians 11:22, 34
- Fellowship is a state of being. It is a noun and not an adjective. People in fellowship might eat together, but eating together is not fellowship - I Corinthians 6:11
- Fellowship means having something in common, sharing, or being a partner. - Luke 5:7; Revelation 1:9; I Timothy 6:2; Romans 15:26; Philippians 4:14-15
- Fellowship within the church is based on having a common relationship with God - I John 1:3, 5-7; 2:3-6
- Christians share the same calling, share the same gospel, and share the same faith - Hebrews 3:1; I John 1:3; Ephesians 3:4-6; Philemon 6; Philippians 1:5; Galatians 2:2
- The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is an expression of our sharing in the understanding of Christ’s suffering - I Corinthians 10:16-17; Philippians 3:8-17
- Helping each other is a way for Christians to share the blessings of God - Hebrews 13:16; I Timothy 6:17-19
- Supporting the work of other Christians is a sharing of the work with them - Philippians 4:14-15; I Corinthians 9:7-14
- Our unity in agreement over the gospel is an expression of our fellowship - Galatians 2:9; I Corinthians 1:9-10
- Fellowship is not the deeds, but the deeds are an expression of the fellowship that is in existence.
- Compare “fellowship” with a similar word: “friendship”. You cannot “do” friendship. Those who are friends do things together, but just because you spend time with someone doesn’t mean you are friends.
- To come together for worship and encouragement requires a place to meet. It is an inescapable conclusion. You cannot come together without being in a single location. The place to meet might be pre-agreed location, such as the disciples meeting at the temple or by a river. It can be someone’s home, if the group is small enough or it can be at a rented facility, such as an upper room.
- Given the variety of gathering places, both free and paid for, we conclude the location is not specified. It remains for the brethren to choose the method most expedient for that particular congregation. The brethren in Lincoln chose to use a rented facility. The brethren in La Vista chose a purchased building.
- Fellowship does not require a facility. There is nothing in the definition, command, or examples of fellowship, in and of itself, which require a location. Fellowship is a description of a relationship and not an action. People can be in fellowship without being in the same physical location.
- The modern “fellowship hall” is simply an eating facility. There is no command for a church to meet together for a common meal. Instead, the command is that the eating of meals is to be done in individual homes - I Corinthians 11:22, 34. We have examples of Christians eating meals together in their homes, but none as a unified whole - Acts 2:44-46.