The Koinonia Mission and Toursby Tim Tyler
Koinonia House still has the same mission that began with Chuck Missler; we want to see more and more people engage in the serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. When that happens, Christians can have direct contact with the Lord, and the result is koinonia, as in fellowship or communion, with Him. (That’s the goal, hence our name, Koinonia House.)
As a consequence of fellowship with God, a strong fellowship happens among believers. From the beginning, those of the Way, as it was called then, “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship [literally koinonia], in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Their fellowship was a genuine communion with one another.
Tours Fit with Study
One K-House ministry, in particular, touches on both study and fellowship, and that would be our tours of Israel. We recorded comments on the last trip from about 20% of tour members, and many touched on these components. Here are some personal reports about how the tour sparked a greater interest in Scripture:
“I came here with all these preconceptions, and they have been blown out of the water completely. I’m seeing stuff that I’d never even thought of, and it was put in context of the whole biblical story.”
D.R., New Zealand
“As I do Bible study, I’m going to have a map open so, when I’m reading things, I’m going to be more in tune to North, South, East, and West when these references are made. Then, I can look at the map and really figure out, “Did this take place where I’ve been thinking all these years that it took place, or did it take place in another one?”
“I didn’t expect all the Old Testament, and I didn’t expect how much it would trigger my desire to reread the Old Testament, which I’ve just finished. Seeing what I’ve seen and knowing what I’ve known, it’s just given me such a deeper interest in the whole Bible.”
“What I came away with is context. Before this, you read the Scriptures, or you hear people expound upon the Scriptures, you don’t have the context of having stood in those places, and seen the sites, know what the climate is like, know what the topology is like. Seeing the north country be so lush and green just completely blew me away.”
“I love the deep discussions that Bob and Ron brought out—especially at the tomb before communion.”
“I just finished a BSF lesson in a lot of the Old Testament and some of the New Testament, and this tour really made it come alive. I think it will make the Bible come a lot more alive to me now!”
“The Bible [was turned] from lots of hard names I try to read through into a story with living pictures and many colors. I feel challenged to try and dig deeper into these stories to get hold of some of the enthusiasm [of the teachers]. I see myself getting more into detail in the Old Testament in the next year to get a much better handle on the events than I have today.”
It’s interesting that people commented more on the Old Testament than the New Testament. The tour itinerary has a good balance of Old and New Testament sites, but the Old Testament appears to have garnered more attention for some.
Many churches today do not put much emphasis on the Old Testament, aside from some favorite accounts, such as Daniel in the lion’s den. This is justified by saying that the Old Testament is not relevant because the church has replaced Israel, which is not true, and that the New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant. The tour seems to help people see just how relevant the Old Testament continues to be today when it’s seen through the lens of the New Testament.
Tours Fit with Koinonia
Here are some comments about koinonia, or fellowship, on the tour:
“This is the most friendly group I’ve ever been with on a tour to Israel; it’s wonderful!”
“It’s been just a blessing, and I think the peace I feel—such peace—and everything just went so smoothly. All of you are so kind: the staff and then everyone that was on this tour. It was just the kindness—you could just feel it. As a single woman, I was never in doubt, and I was never afraid, but other people were for me, and they thought it was pretty crazy that I was going to the Middle East. I said, “No, I don’t know these people personally, but I know K-House. I have been listening to their commentaries since 2013, and I know that it’s going to be totally fine.” And it truly was. When I called home, my son asked, “So how’s it going?” and I said, “You know, I just have to say I’m at peace, I’m really at peace.”
“The group of people on this tour—there’s nobody that I didn’t have a good time with; I’m going to miss absolutely everyone.”
“It’s been nice, and been an honor and a privilege, being in a wonderful group of people. I quite enjoyed it. I don’t regret it, and at the moment, it’s hard to go home, but there’s work to be done there, my continuing service.”
“I connected with so many people. Everybody got along so well, it was just a fun group. I really enjoyed it, couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to be with. No matter who you sit with, what table you sit at, you sit there, cut up, and you laughed. I just really appreciate everybody here. We had a few mishaps, and everybody cared for one another. Just the fact that we helped each other out all along the way was great!”
When someone fell and was injured, when others were feeling weak, or when circumstances were bothersome, tour members rallied to show concern and lend a hand to help. One man on the tour teased about this, saying, “Everyone is so nice, so good to each other, you’d think they were all Christians or something!”
There were some other comments that bear mentioning, just to give a picture of this group and their experience.
“This is my eighth trip to Israel, and it’s absolutely wonderful! When I compare this trip to every other trip I’ve been on, this is so far beyond any of them. We didn’t go to all the traditional sites, which was great because I learned so much more about these other sites.”
“Over the top! This is our 50th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to do something very special. My wife chose K-House after looking at a number of groups. It was way beyond our expectations; something we’ll remember forever. Thank you!”
J&P P. USA
“It’s been brilliant, and it’s just amazing! This was a watershed moment in my Christian experience.”
D.R. New Zealand
“This has been literally my number one bucket list trip of a lifetime, and it more than met those expectations. Thank you so much; I really appreciate it—this has been a great opportunity.”
“To see the sights of the Bible, get your hands dirty, it just changes your perspective on everything. It’s changed my life…changed my life.”
Koinonia House is “staying the course” by being faithful to its mission to see believers studying the Bible seriously. Such study should lead them to have fellowship with God Himself.
From that fellowship with God, true koinonia can be a common experience among believers in Christ. Koinonia at every level is “absolutely wonderful!”, “over the top!”, “brilliant”, “more than expected”, and has people saying, “it changed my life.”
All our published materials, tours, and events are intended to accomplish the mission. Tours stand out as a brief microcosm where study of the Bible and fellowship happen, and K-House Tours are among the best in accomplishing this.