One of our favourite parts of the bible is the book of Acts. It’s an account of what church was like in the early days, after God’s Spirit was poured out on people for the first time. It’s amazing to see the way that the church grew, as the good news about Jesus spread to the ends of the known world.
Before we get too carried away, we have to remember that the early church wasn’t perfect. We know they had a lot of teething issues, because the majority of the New Testament letters are spent addressing them. It’s comforting to know that even the churches in the bible didn’t get it right all the time.
Yet a beautiful simplicity emerges when we read about these churches that didn’t have to deal with 2,000 years of institutional baggage. There’s this particular passage in Acts 2:42-47 (if you’re not familiar with it, have a read). It’s just after the Holy Spirit was poured out, and it describes the kind of community that formed organically as a response to that event. This first church devoted themselves to living in community, sharing all they had (v42, 44). They pursued God through prayer and teaching (v42), and the supernatural became part of their everyday experience (v43). Their church wasn’t just about Sundays—their community life overflowed into their homes and their everyday experience (v46). It wasn’t about the best worship experience, the most inspirational teaching, or having a great growth strategy (though those things are good in their own way). It was authentic, it was organic, and it was all about community.
Here’s what happened next. First, in verse 47a, we learn that they ‘enjoyed the favour of all the people’. This church was clearly engaged with their wider community, and held in a favourable light. As the people looked into the church, they saw what life together could look like when Jesus is involved. And in verse 47b, we see that the Lord added to their number DAILY. Not just on Sundays, not just at outreach events, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… you get the picture. Acts 2 community shows us that church, done right, is irresistible.
For us, this is the big picture. We want to learn to be a community that does life together with Jesus at the centre. We want to love one another and serve our wider community in a way that turns heads. We want to see people fall deeper in love with Jesus, and meet him for the first time. As God is working to make all things new, we want to be a picture of what restored, renewed community can look like. Will you join us?
- Meet our community pastors, Chris and Jen