When we read the Scripture, we see the vision of the church as not one of mere association with a church or a pastor, but glorious participation in the gospel. The word often translated “fellowship” is koinonia in the original language. The word carries the connotation of deep participation. In Acts 2:42, believers devoted themselves to the koinonia/participation. In Philippians 1:5, Paul thanked the believers at Philippi for their koinonia/partnership in the gospel.
When we moved our worship services exclusively online early in the pandemic, I did not know what to do with myself during the weekend services. I had already preached the message to a camera, so I found Saturday nights and Sunday mornings a bit torturous – wondering if I should have said something differently, if I had been clear enough on certain points, etc. But mostly I missed being with the people.
The online platform we use to broadcast our services from our website provides a chat function. I mostly like it. The chat function has led to some amazing conversations with our hosts. People have received prayer and encouragement. Others have prayed to receive Christ. Amazing! What I don’t like is that it can reveal a consumption mentality in some at some time. I say “reveals” because I am not sure how much it creates the consumption mentality as much as it reveals what is already there.