Tuesday, October 21, 2008


How is the church supposed to behave? Different people may answer that in different ways, but I like to take my cues from what I read about the church in Acts 2....

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.

While this passage is more descriptive than proscriptive, there are nevertheless some takeaways for us. Looking back to the first century, you see how the early church behaved:

1. Daily. The early church was a not a weekend or Sunday event, but an every day adventure. The gatherings were "every day" and the outreach was "daily."

2. Relationally. The church was growing rapidly and people were getting their needs met. How? Was the church developing a program or a department to meet the needs? No, believers simply noticed that their brother had a need and responded to it. Organically. Relationally.

3. Informally. The church did not meet in church buildings or auditoriums, but in living rooms, dining rooms and outdoor public spaces. One of the key things you see them doing is eating together. Meals are a great vehicle for fellowship and community.

4. Cellularly. The first century church met in different places, at different times. There is actually not a clear indication that everyone ever gathered in the same place at the same time. In all likelihood, the Jerusalem church grew to over 10,000 people in the first week, and we know that the temple courts could not accommodate that big of a crowd. So the early church was one church meeting in multiple locations, with multiple teachers (apostles, plural).

5. Joyfully. The first church was a happy experience. Words like glad, sincere, praying, enjoying speak to the fact that they were a happy group.

So, just to review. How does the church behave? Daily, Relationally, Informally, Cellularly, Joyfully. Who doesn't want to be a part of something like that?

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