fellowship for sale?

On more than one occasion I have been invited to come and buy things from ladies’ home businesses. Sometimes on the invitation to come and buy things it will also include an invitation for fellowship at the home business event.

This leads me to wonder, must I come and buy something in order to fellowship?

This question is especially pertinent when I have never “fellowshipped” with the host before. Perhaps they are an acquaintance or casual friend whose home I’ve never been invited to prior to this occasion. And so the invitation to fellowship is conditional, in essence, saying: you can fellowship with me if you are willing to buy my stuff (or at a minimum sit through a presentation on why you should buy my stuff).

This is not to say that fellowship will not happen at a home business event. To the contrary, wherever Christians are gathered, fellowship will (one would hope) occur.

Now to the ackward point of the rejection of the invitation. If the invitation had simply been to buy stuff, I could reject without a second thought. But because fellowship has been added, I feel as though I am personally rejecting whoever has sent the invitation. Not only do I not want to buy their stuff, it also appears I don’t want to spend time fellowshipping with them.

What do you think? Am I making a mountain of a molehill? How does this apply to having a bookstore at church? Comments welcome.


5 thoughts on “fellowship for sale?

  1. Abigail,

    While I’ve never been invited to one of these “shop at home” parties, my wife has. I have been a part of many similar conversations about the frustration. “Do you want to be my friend or simply get me into your pyramid scheme?” On the other hand, many of these stay-at-home moms have started these businesses to help out with the household finances. Unfortunately, I think that the men and women at the top of the pyramid are preying upon the well meaning women at the bottom. My solution: reject the invitation and follow it up with an invitation of your own to have that woman in your home for coffee and FREE fellowship. Good luck with the blog.

    -Andy Gammons

  2. lol………this made me think about alot of house parties i have been to….its too awkward not to buy anything….its pretty much exspected even though they may say don’t worry about it….once they hand out all the magazines and check off lists what are you supposed to do,hide it under the couch?

    i usually don’t attend unless i have fellowshipped with this person in the past. I’m assuming they are looking more for my money then my fellowship,lol if i don’t know them well.

    Not to mention the awkwardness when its you the host and the seller….i hate tiny parties…i feel tricked and makes the fellowship opportunity hard to cash out on 🙂

    I have also vowed to never host another party of this nature….my last one i had 22 people for a tastefully simple party….by the time i bought drinks,ingredients etc i pretty much came out even….just my two cents

    Alyce

  3. Hey Abigail! Way to go with the blog – I am impressed. And also glad someone else feels like I do with the thoughts/ideas/words that never get expressed (or if they do, to a 14 month old who can’t quite process them yet)! 😉

    I hear you on the party/scheme thing…I’ve been in the same situation. I went to one and didn’t buy anything, but ended up being plagued with the company rep calling me for months. I’ve decided since then that I won’t go to one unless it is something I am interested in buying. I don’t think these women are trying to “sell fellowship,” but I do think they are using the term somewhat manipulatively…not that they are doing that on purpose. On another note, I’m all for ladies helping out with their family’s financial needs, it just sort of rubs me the wrong way that they expect their friends to buy stuff from them in order to do it. Maybe that’s a bad attitude on my part. Anyway, that’s my two cents! Thanks for inviting us into your thoughts!

  4. Like your mom says, you may not know what hospitality is, but you can tell when it isn’t. And being invited to a home to buy stuff under the guise of hospitality turns hospitality on its head. If someone has a financial need, I would rather they just ask for money and tell me why. And then just do hospitality for Christ’s sake, with no thought of financial gain.

    Good thoughts. Great blog. Dad

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