Christianity 201

May 22, 2020

Getting Close to The Church of Acts

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
-Acts 5:42

House Churches

Mary’s:When he [Peter] realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who is called Mark, where there were many people gathered in prayer” (Acts 12:12).

Lydia’s:When they [Paul and Silas] had come out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house where they saw and encouraged the brothers, and then they left” (Acts 16:40).

Prisca and Aquila’s:Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus…greet also the church at their house” (Romans 16:3,5).

Nympha’s:Give greetings to the brothers in Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house” (Colossians 4:15).

Philemon and Apphia’s:Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved and our co-worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church at your house” (Philemon verses 1-2).

-condensed references; click here for full article at Franciscan Media.


This is our tenth time with John Fischer at The Catch. Click the title below for the full article:

Church, 2020

Think about the amount of trust in the Holy Spirit there had to be in the formation of the early church. Especially after the persecution scattered believers all over the region. Groups of believers were springing up everywhere. All of them were preaching the Good News about Jesus and people were being added daily to the faith. It would have been impossible to monitor all those groups. These were not Bible Study Cell Groups with a form of centralized leadership and a notebook and video for the host to follow. There was no curriculum. There was no New Testament, at least in the very beginning. Later on Paul would write his letters to the young churches, and I’m sure those were copied and passed around, but in the beginning the church was made up of informal groups of people meeting in homes, many of them separated from sanctioned leadership. And if the book of Acts says they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, that means there was an apostle there teaching them! Kid you not.

I have a feeling it was something like this that the Lord had in mind for the church all along — an organic group of people coming together to pray, share whatever they knew of the apostles’ teaching, eat together, meet each other’s needs, and remember the Lord’s death and resurrection until He returns. Buildings and budgets, bishops and bureaucracies were nowhere in the original plan. I know that sounds pretty loosey-goosey, but that’s why the Holy Spirit was holding it all together. They could feel the reality of the Holy Spirit. Is church a praise band and a sermon, or four or five people around a table at Starbucks? It may not necessarily be either one, but the one around the table is closer to the earliest model.

Marti has had numerous discipleship groups over the years and lately, she’s been able to do it over Google hangout on the Internet. I’ve walked in on the tail end of this a number of nights and I can tell you it’s the closest thing to church I know of. They are learning and growing, crying and laughing, and depending on the Holy Spirit through each other’s gifts. You can go to a megachurch and never have this. You can go to an ornate cathedral and never have this. This is why we’re looking again at the formation of the early church. It’s renewal time. It’s honesty time. It’s raw. It’s real time. It’s strip-down-to-the-basics time. It’s what we want. It’s what the millennials want, and I believe it’s what the Lord wanted all along. Whatever else we have that has come to be identified as “church” are the trappings of church we’ve created over the years — little of it biblical, much of it cultural and traditional. Even what we have on Sunday nights on Facebook is closer to the Acts church than what you can experience each week in a typical church service today. If you don’t need the Holy Spirit to hold it together, then it’s going to be held together by something else. Wouldn’t you rather have the Holy Spirit?

Church, 2020 is not going to be much different than Church, 31, and that’s the way it should be.


Bonus item: Here’s a classic John Fischer song, Righteous Man.

1 Comment »

  1. I agree with you. Church is more real in our online groups than anything i’ve Experienced in a church building.

    Comment by Narva — May 23, 2020 @ 6:38 pm | Reply


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