Your use of ‘fellowship’ is ‘inconceivable!’

My whole life I grew up in a Christian family and attending church quite regularly. Anyone who has gone to church, whether all your life or only once, knows that Christians have their own set of vocab that tends to be thrown around quite casually, regardless of whether it’s being used correctly or if anyone even knows what it means.

As Vizzini the Sicilian favors “inconceivable!”Christians have their own words. One that has come to my attention recently is the word fellowship. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, fellowship is a community or interest, activity, feeling or experience; a company of equals or friends; and the quality or state of being comradely.

In the Bible, the word fellowship is used to mean a coming together of fellow believers to encourage and strengthen one another. While both of these definitions are similar, there’s been a growing trend in the church to use the word “fellowship” at every mention of people (who happen to be Christian) getting together to hang out.

The other day, a friend of mine said that we were going to fellowship and watch “The Princess Bride.” Now, this was after our Navigators (a Christian ministry on campus) meeting, so I understood what she meant, but why must we use the word fellowship? It didn’t quite fit the situation nor was the context completely accurate.

If it were another situation, one not including a church-like setting, the word “fellowship” wouldn’t have been used, but “hang out” or something of the like would have. Christianese (as it’s called by many) is something that I have grown up around my whole life, but I’ve never understood the compulsion to call every gathering that happens to be predominately Christians, as fellowship, rather than another synonym of the overused word.


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