And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. —Acts 2:42-47
The passage above gives us a prime example of what the church in action looks like. What can we learn from this model church?
• They were devoted. They were committed to learning more, to being together, to taking communion, to praying. The church was a priority for them.
• They studied the apostles’ teaching, not some other teaching. They wanted to know what the witnesses to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection had to say. It was focused learning.
• They had a sense of reverence for what they were learning and it opened their eyes to the amazing things of God that were happening all around them. The words of the apostles came to life among them.
• They saw the need to serve those in their community and not cling to their earthly possessions, but give them to those who were in greater need of them than they were.
• They regularly got together with fellow believers (every day!), they welcomed people into their homes, and they were enthusiastic about what they were doing together and why they were doing it.
• Their group was growing and more and more people were coming to the knowledge of salvation in Christ through the witness of the group.
Applying even one of these attributes to our congregations today can do a world of difference. To me, the remarkable aspect of all these traits is the underlying attitude of genuine gratitude and excitement and joy in the Lord, which can so often dwindle away when we get too busy or too preoccupied with ourselves. Think of ways to recapture the joy of being a part of the church this week and see what God does with that joy.