‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’ Acts 2:42
Have you heard someone say, “I am a Christian, but for me faith is a private thing and I don’t need to go to church”? Or perhaps you have heard, “I used to go to church but all they wanted was my money, so I don’t go to church anymore”? I hate to ask this, but have you heard yourself saying something similar?
When the Holy Spirit regenerates the human spirit He not only saves them from a life of separation from God and his family, but into a life of relationship with God and the church. We are not meant to be spiritual lone rangers; we are supposed to be members of a living organism called The Church.
A characteristic of the church of Acts was their devotion to the fellowship. They were so committed to each other that they were prepared to sell some of their possessions and give the proceeds to the church leadership for distribution to members who had little. They also loved to be in each other’s company and regularly ate together in home-based groups.
In times of revival devotion to the fellowship increases dramatically. There is a fresh awareness of how important life together as believers really is. There is vibrancy in the meetings and an expressed joy in being together. When disciples of Jesus meet during these times the subject on everyone’s lips is not rugby, stock prices, government corruption and crime, but Jesus and his Kingdom.
In my local church we have fifty per cent of our people in cell groups. This means that half of the people who regularly attend our Sunday services are also part of a small group that meets weekly. When I compare this statistic to other churches I sometimes feel a little smug – “Fifty per cent is pretty good!” I think to myself. But, of course, it isn’t really because half of the folk are not being properly pastored and they are not being adequately bonded into the church body. The first church met together every day, and in times of revival a similar phenomenon occurs. People are so enthusiastic about what God is doing among them that they don’t want to miss anything. In addition, they are so delighted at what God is doing in their fellow believers that they deeply desire to spend as much time possible with them.
So then, some pointed questions: Are you a devoted member of a local church? Do you actively seek out as much fellowship as you can with your fellow believers? Be encouraged – revival is coming, and this will change!