In the Bible, when you see the word fellowship, it means, "to be in common." It carries with it the idea of heading the same direction or going down the same path. Sometimes that word is translated partnership.
You see, in order for you to have true fellowship, you need to be headed the same direction. There needs to be a common goal, a common destiny.
Paul tells the Philippians that he is thankful for their fellowship (or partnership) in the gospel. They are partnered in the good news of God. And there is no better partnership to be in!
"...if we walk in the light as He (Christ) is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another..."
--I John 1:7
In my short time as a Christian School Teacher, I have seen this sort of fellowship. But I have also seen the other kind.
There have been several students that have shared with me their goal to become more like Christ. And we have sought together to continue reaching toward that goal. Sometimes as Teacher to Student: God allowing me to be used in their lives as an example. And many of the things that God has taught me have been passed on. And we strove together toward the one true light.
But there have also been students where I knew that there was a different goal. Maybe they didn't say it, maybe they would never admit it, but they were headed a different direction. And because of that the fellowship was limited.
So after time I begin to echo the words of Christ to his disciples:
"I do not call you servants any longer,
because servants do not know what their master is doing.
Instead, I call you friends,
because I have told you everything
I heard from my Father."
-- John 15:15
And friends they are.
The picture was drawn for me at the end of last year by my 8th grade boys PE/Study Hall class when they found out that I was going to be moving. I still have it hanging beside my desk.