That’s a great question; one that is not answered quickly. We can all cite examples of church bodies who have answered that question poorly and churches who have answered well. Often times the same church can be found at both ends of the continuum! While there likely are lessons to be learned from the ‘poor’ category, I am not a pessimist (or a realist as they like to call themselves). I like to focus on the ‘well’ end of the spectrum. How shall we be a church well? Let’s check out the witnesses.
For me, the best and purest snapshot of the church comes in Acts. Take Acts 2 for example. They are not all-consumed with who’s in charge, or what to charge, or even a minute portion of the important things that get us all ‘charged’ up about church. For them, church was simple. Teaching. Fellowship. Breaking bread together. Prayers.
The results were beyond dispute: unity, spiritual growth, numerical growth, generosity, simplicity, signs and wonders. It’s true that there was also an element of fear, but it becomes little more than a footnote in this story because they defined the basics well and then they stuck to them. There was no corporate model, no pastoral model; there was no need of them because their goals were Christ centered and gospel focused.
Often I sense that as a church body we yearn for the perceived elegance that Acts portrays.
That yearning is not unique to Zion. For a Christian this yearning is innate. Even if we cannot support that yearning with a ‘proof-text’ from scripture, we express it just the same.
For me, that is proof that our church and the church of Acts are not so different. The Spirit that was alive in them then is here and alive in us now. Our job for the summer?
Simple: focus on the basics. Teaching. Fellowship. Breaking bread together. Prayers.
That is how we shall be a church; well and in style.
God bless your days!