Okay, so let’s be real. How many assemblies limp along from meeting to meeting? How many people who consider ourselves in fellowship know more about the lives of the people at work, or in the flag football league, or at the coffee shop, or in the apartment building than we do about our brethren in fellowship in the local assembly?
There is a lot that New Testament Assemblies get right. Meeting simply unto the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Having only Christ as our head, and being guided by a plurality of elders. The roles of the gifting of the Holy Spirit in the operation of the assembly. The different roles of men and women. The remembrance meeting. Focus on sound Biblical doctrine (in the face of feel-good fashions of the day). But…
Maybe the time is right for a call for a return to the New Testament model of community. Here’s what Acts 2:44-47 says about how they conducted themselves at the very beginning:
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Looks like community, doesn’t it? They “were together (as in how they led their lives)” They “had all things common (as in how loosely they held their belongings before the Lord).” They were “continuing daily with one accord (as in having a single, all-consuming, common purpose).” They were “in the temple (which is where they preached the gospel).” They “[broke] bread from house to house (they lived their lives together…spent their days together).” They were always praising God and living in a way that earned the favor of everyone they met. And all this resulted in people getting saved. BY THE THOUSANDS.
The need for unity and the building of community within our local assemblies has led the Parenthesis committee to identify Comm-UNITY as this year’s theme. Jonathan Brower will bring five rocked-out messages on the topic, spring-boarding from Ephesians 4 (as the Lord leads). And Michael Donahue will lead an extended breakdown session, leading to practical learning on the theme.
We pray that it will be a weekend of building relationships and transforming assemblies.