” 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 ESV)
I don’t know about you but when I read that my heart beats faster and I have a longing there, a deep thirst for such community and interaction. Even an introvert like me desires this kind of community because I know that I wasn’t made to be on my own – I was made for relationship and relationship with people who are different to me. There is so much packed in this verse, so much is happening in this church – devotion to teaching and fellowship, breaking bread, praying together, seeing signs and wonders, having things in common, making sure nobody was in need, coming together DAY by DAY going to the temple, breaking bread – having generous hearts and praising God. And people were added to them daily. It seems so far from what happens in the western culture, in some cultures we see more of a glimpse of this and after being in Peru for a year I was hungry for this.
When reading Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim chester, I caught a glimpse of what these verses might look like in our culture today – people meeting together and doing life together. It seems so simple – we wash up, cook, eat, go to the pub, open scriptures etc together. But also have a driven focus to include those who don’t know Christ into that community, to invite people to be a part of everyday life of the church – where we care and love people and share the Gospel.
The reason why I am so excited about this is because at the church I go to in Plymouth, we are going to start doing this. The elders have been caught by the same vision that Steve Timmis had and whats written in Acts 2. We are going to have communities that are sharing life together and have a missional focus. I think it will be hard, I think it will be messy – because we are messy people! But I think it will be fun as well and my prayer is that we will see more and more people become Christians and added to the church. Its a chance to gather all sorts of people together, those who are sick, healthy, rich or poor, student or families to be included into a church community and to be looked after or look after others, to serve and to gather non christian friends to meet Christ.
That’s not to say this is the only way nor the best way of doing it, but it seems this is what God is calling our church to do at the moment and I am excited to see how it unfolds and how God uses this. But again I always have to watch my heart – it’s so easy to be hard-hearted towards change and things not meeting my expectations. I know that the Holy Spirit will have to keep warming my heart to Christ because as we rub shoulders with people who are different to us it can cause friction and as these groups start-up it may cause some wobbles. But Christ works in our weaknesses all the time! Im looking forward to seeing what Christ does through all of this!