How The Early Church Began
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 42-47
Wow, the second chapter of Acts…I love the band and the book. The book gives us a close up view of the Body of Christ in its infancy and tells how the Gospel spread beyond Jerusalem. What I love about the church is how simple it begins and grows. It was a God thing and not really a man thing, but The Spirit spoke through and used many ordinary everyday people to get the message out.
The apostles’ teaching was a major focal point, but even it was not complicated. The apostles’ teaching was not a real matter of doctrine and didactics. It was simply those who had spent real time with Jesus, sharing what Jesus had said and done among and within them. It was those who had been with Jesus telling real stories about Jesus.
Fellowship or koinonia was also crucial in those early days and this meant that mutual participation and partnership in the gospel was taking place among all those who believed. During this excellent fellowship the early believers broke bread together and prayed. Because of what Jesus had done and the unity that they shared they were all filled with awe and many amazing things happened.
It says that all the believers were together and that they shared EVERYTHING in common. To me this means that everything they had was freely shared, including leadership, their message, possessions and everything else. No one in the early church there went without; they shared every good thing with each other.
The early church was NOT just a Sunday morning and Wednesday evening kind of thing. They shared fellowship with each other EVERY single day. They were out in public in the temple courts and they also met to eat and share Jesus everyday with each other in their homes. When they gathered for the fellowship meal they did so with glad and sincere hearts. They were praising God 24/7 and because of this they also enjoyed the good favor of all the people in their community. It is no wonder why people were getting saved everyday
That is the church that was, but what about the church today? Where is the unity, The Spirit, the power and the awe of God in today’s church? I hate to say it, but it is really practically impossible to find anywhere today. We have very little unity because we have chosen uniformity of doctrine over oneness in Jesus. Instead of flowing freely in the Holy Spirit we have chosen to be led by our understanding of the bible. Instead of power and awe we have accepted complacency and rote religion. And finally instead of making disciples in the manner of Jesus, we make mere converts after the traditions and ways of man. We also traded free & open, Spirit led conversations and dialogue for sermons and monologues from mere “men”. You may say I am being too critical, but in all honesty I do not think I have even begun to scratch the surface of the modern “churches” problems.
The solution? I think we will find part of it in returning to the simplicity of the early church. We need to have open hearts and open homes, plus an openness to the ways of The Spirit. We need to unify over Jesus and not divide over complex doctrines that might not be of Christ in the first place. We need to be FREE, open and available. We need to have more meals and less meetings. We need to value the priesthood of every believer and dismantle ANY hierarchy that places ANY believer OVER and Above other believers. What we need is Faith, Hope and Love. Well there is a start. Anyone care to add or subtract? If so please share a comment?
Love and …..
Kirk Out !