The Family Church

As we continue our study in Acts, we come to the topic of the family church.  While Acts 2:42-47 is descriptive in nature, it does have some activities in which all churches should emulate.

Here’s the description of what the Church looked like after Peter’s message at Pentecost:

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and thefellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Here are some things to note:

  • Devoted to teaching.  They wanted to learn, they were eager to learn.  Being present for biblical teaching might produce knowledge; being devoted to biblical teaching produces holiness.
  • They were the Church all week long.  Their spiritual maturity was not based on the services they attended, it was in the relationships they had formed.  They were in each other homes.  They shared meals.  They not only gathered prayer requests, they actually prayed for them.  They had all things in common because they were dying to themselves and everyone was acting like Jesus.
  • Needs did not exist for very long.  I often hear people say we need to experience the Church of Acts without being willing to sacrifice like the Church of Acts.  These people saw amazing things happen because they relied on the Holy Spirit and they gave themselves away.  We can’t just want the benefit without the sacrifice.
  • People were being saved everyday.  They were not waiting on a pastor, evangelist, service, outreach event to get someone to hear the gospel.  They were proclaiming everywhere.  All of them.  The gospel was going forth everyday.

The closest I ever saw this was serving on a mission team in Tokyo, Japan.  When services concluded for Kokobunji Baptist Church, instead of everyone rushing out the door, they all stayed together all day.  When it was time for the noon meal, they huddled up and prayed.  These people never stopped gathering that Sunday.

I asked one of my friends if this was normal.  The response was, “Yes, this is our Sundays.  Travis, you must realize that these are the only Christians many of us will see all week long.  We have to take advantage of every moment we have together.”

That’s my longing for every congregation.  That we would not just attend church, we would be the Church.