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 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)
Last night we had a church service where we worshipped, prayed, Baptized 3 people, shared the Lord’s Supper, and shared a pot-luck agape feast afterward. This gathering did not take place in a church sanctuary and fellowship hall, but my back yard. The amazing image given above of the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit in the early life and birth of Christianity gives us this description of “church.” “attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes,”(v.46)
The gathering of believers did include periodic times spent in a public place of worship, “attending the temple together”. This was for a gathering of corporate worship. To share and hear stories of how God was working in other peoples lives , to receive teaching, and to be encouraged in their sharing of the Gospel of Jesus to their neighbors. The gathering of believers also included meeting in peoples homes, “breaking bread in their homes.” It was here, around a dinner table and in a living in the intimate and real sharing of their love and struggles of living life for Christ where their faith was forged and they were formed into disciples of Jesus.
Discipleship does not take place in an hour Sunday morning service. I am going to be be bold enough to speak the truth that you cannot become a disciple of Christ if all you do is attend a Sunday morning church service The intimate sharing, modeling, and pressing into our calling that is required in forming disciples cannot take place in a lecture-type setting with 40, 200, 500, 1,000 or more people. As the Scriptures tell us, public worship is an important part of the discipleship process, however it is only one part of the process. A part that has become the complete image of what “church” is for most Christians today.
As believers we tithe a portion of our resources to be used for the spreading of the Gospel and “adding to the number those saved.” However tithing a percentage of your resources does not just apply to what you put in a basket passed around, it applies to your major resource, your home. We are all called to tithe a portion of our home, to open it up and give it to God to use for his glory. How are you using your home for spreading the Gospel? Who are you inviting into your home to share the love of Jesus and make disciples? There are neighborhood kids, and youth you can invite in to start mentoring. A co-worker, classmate, gym member to ask over to read the Bible together. Invite a couple or two from your church over your house to share Christ in your life together. Church gatherings are not just something you find in a church calendar, but in your home or apartment.
My family, I pray this morning as you read this, many of you in your home or apartment, you will offer that space up to God to use for his kingdom, and pray for the Holy Spirit to place the names or faces of those you are to invite into you home, then act on it. In Jesus’ name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your reflections and prayers in the comment box below.