First Church, Church First?

I love reading Acts, and learning about the first Church and how they lived and interacted with each other and those who came against them. Most of the early years had believers who had followed Jesus during his time on earth, or who knew him throughout his life and even those who had never met him but knew of him. It was an exciting time for the Apostles as they watched their new baby Church growing each day with converts whose life was transformed by the name of their beloved Christ. They were strong and dynamic leaders who did not shy away from discipline and teaching. There was structure and community and they each devoted themselves to knowing God more and more and encouraged their congregations to do the same. It would be unusual for a believer not to want to know more, not to want to grow and mature.

Acts 2 vs 42 – 47

Fast forward 2000 years to the Church of God today. I know many who would love their churches to be more like the church of Acts, myself being one of them. I know its not possible, and not because I dont think we can do it. We are a different generation and its a completely different world now. The first church was the benefit system for a start. It was a hard life for those who were orphaned and those who were widows. There is a safety net today that was not there then. It does not mean we don’t have an obligation to still look after these precious people anyway, but we don’t seem to think we have to. I know many older people who are using Food Banks while they are members of a church. Why? Because we dont think they are our responsibility anymore. They are. We are still a community whether we lived 2000 years ago or in the 21st century.

The church described in Acts was a healthy growing community. It was devoted to God and each other, devoted to prayer and fellowship. Church is like an organic mass of people. It needs things to grow, it needs structure and support. It got that from prayer, Gods living water and teaching. Strong leadership but not to the point it was suffocated and its voice was drowned out. We need exactly the same things to grow today. We are no different in these ways than then, even if our world is a very different place to live. We might not be able to be the church of Acts in many ways, like living as a community, but we can still care and love each other as Christ loves us. How unlike those in the world around us would we be if that is the attitude we took. If we stop being so concerned about how we look if we pray for our friends and family, the shopkeeper who is having a bad day, the officer handing out parking tickets, the guy who serves our coffee in the cafe. We would start to see change and would be known as a Christian without having to say anything because we would be so different and it would make an impact.

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. leneijapan
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 09:36:31

    I love reading Acts too. In fact we are reading through Acts in a Bible study group. I agree with you – it does apply for us today even if we can’t live in communities like they did, we still need to carry each other’s burdens. One thing that really strikes me is the total surrender to God and the Holy Spirits leading the leaders of the early church shows. I think that’s one place where we today can learn something

    Reply

    • The Minstrel's Wife
      Sep 25, 2014 @ 14:27:29

      We can definitely. I hope you all get more out of Acts than you went in with. I really want to totally surrender everything to God, but find its the most difficult to do while I let other stuff get in the way. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Many blessings and Love in Christ. Zoe x

      Reply

      • sistertosister53
        Sep 26, 2014 @ 15:43:30

        I agree as well, me learning to not allow other things get in my way. To go around it,to ask God to give His Strength to me pressing forward in doing His Will. Thanks for this message, God knows just what we need. Amen! Agape!

    • sistertosister53
      Sep 26, 2014 @ 15:38:51

      Amen!!

      Reply

  2. sistertosister53
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 15:37:42

    Reblogged this on Sistertosister53's Blog and commented:
    Amen!!

    Reply

  3. aurorawatcherak
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 20:51:02

    Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak.

    Reply

  4. kmsnyder9
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 23:24:03

    Beautiful post…thank you! You’re so right that by doing simple, ordinary “Acts” of kindness, we carry out the mission of the early church today. God bless!

    Reply

  5. mipwin
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 02:58:24

    I’m also a big proponent of the church as described in the Book of Acts! I would love to add to the list with widows and orphans: not-yet-married women! 🙂 I don’t mean women in their early 20s. I mean women who are in their mid to late 30s, and don’t really have anyone to help out.

    I enjoy reading your thoughts and look forward to further reading! And also appreciate your following my blog.

    Reply

    • The Minstrel's Wife
      Sep 28, 2014 @ 11:52:22

      there are unfortunately many people in the Church who are forgotten or not thought of when care giving is discussed. I look forward to reading your future posts, and its nice to meet you.x

      Reply

  6. myrajohnson
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 19:56:03

    I agree that our actions do speak to others around us. God’s love should flow from us to others wherever we are. Thank you for a good reminder.

    Reply

  7. justacowboyforchrist
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 22:02:42

    I think there is a growing hunger for the Church of Acts. You have a very good point, but I don’t know how we’re going to get there when people are too busy to pray? Somehow, we got to get back there.

    Reply

    • The Minstrel's Wife
      Sep 30, 2014 @ 08:11:26

      We have got to get there, but as you say, I dont know how or when. Our church is trying to get there, but we are just one church. Our leaders are doing what they can and we are getting there slowly one step at a time. I think we need to tell people to stop using everything as an excuse and find out the Real reason they dont want to spend time with God. Bless you and hope you have a blessed week.xx

      Reply

  8. lovelifeandgod
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 21:50:10

    Thanks for the blog follow! You speak some good words of wisdom here, Minstrel’sWife.

    I think God wants us to get back, in some ways, to the Church in Acts. I’m hearing more and more about prayer movements rising up; it’s beautiful.

    About prayer, it seems hard and maybe even boring to just take a minute out of your day to pray, but really, I doubt anyone’s schedule is so filled that they can’t even spend a few minutes of prayer before bed, in the morning after waking up, or heck, even in the shower, haha! And I’ve noticed that once I actually get down and pray, I can just feel God’s love warming my heart. Now I’m reminded of something I saw on a sign outside of a Church one day:

    “God is everywhere, so pray anywhere.”

    Reply

    • The Minstrel's Wife
      Oct 02, 2014 @ 09:17:47

      Absolutely. I totally agree with you. There is no where we can’t pray so there is no excuse not to pray. I have noticed in my own life that when I am with my friends, we dont pray together at all. I am going to try and change that with their permission. Its lovely to pray with others as well, and even more special if they are those I love and spend time with. Maybe try to bring more of God into my relationships and friendships. Many blessings and thank you for your message.x

      Reply

  9. The Minstrel's Wife
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 19:05:50

    I am sorry you feel offended by my following your blog. I was actually really interested in your last writing and thought you had some very good and important points to make. I have unfollowed you and won’t bother you again. I really am sorry but hope you keep asking questions of society and religion in politics.

    Reply

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