“And those who believed … were baptized—about three thousand in all! …They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, (and) met in small groups in homes …” Acts 2:41, 46 (TLB)
The church is a community of faith. God designed us to do life together as Christ followers. Peter even calls us a “royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9) That means God looks upon us corporately – not just individually. Together, we are one body in Christ. In Romans 12:4-5, the Bible says, “Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others.”
God never designed us to be lone rangers, doing faith in isolation, but for many, that’s exactly how we feel during this pandemic. How did the early church deal with separation when many of them could no longer meet together at the Temple? Persecution and famine led many to leave Jerusalem and flee to remote areas. From the beginning of the church, the Bible says that those 3,000 who believed the message Peter preached at Pentecost were baptized and met together regularly at the Temple and in small groups in homes. When they could no longer gather at the Temple, they found fellowship in smaller groups in homes where they did life together. Is that descriptive of your Christian experience? If not, you’re missing out on the adventure of doing life together with other Christ followers. When that happens, it weakens the church. Imagine if parts of your body decided to stay in bed when you got up for work in the morning! I’m not sure that excuse would fly with your boss. To be healthy, we need each other. The writer of Hebrews put it like this in Hebrews 10:24-25 (TLB), “In response to all He has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near.”
If you want to thrive in your faith, get connected with a local church family and begin to do life together. Find a small group of like-minded Christ followers, or host one yourself, and take the challenge to grow together. We call these Life Groups. Just like the believers in the New Testament, we need to worship together in both large and small groups if we are to experience the fullness of God in our lives. If you would like to be a part of a Life Group, I want to encourage you to join us for our first online LIFE CLASS this Sunday at 1pm at live.wc.org. You can register now and we will send you all the information you need. Host a watch party on social media and share the experience with some friends as we discover the benefits of a life group.