“Those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers...” (Acts 2:41-42, NRSV).
The first Christians met together often-every day! Acts records that they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, fellowship, prayer, breaking of bread, praise, and shared their possessions in common. This was no small group. To start with, Acts 2:41 records there were initially three thousand that came into fellowship with each other from all walks of life. No doubt there were social and economic reasons for them to share their possessions. But the feeling we get from scripture leads us to think more deeply about what bonded this group together.
As new Christians, they were excited about their faith. They wanted to learn more about the Jesus they embraced. Through coming together over meals (breaking of bread) and through sharing together in the apostle's teaching, they grew in their knowledge quickly. In addition, in this early phase of Christianity, they enjoyed the favor of all the people and their number increased as the Lord added to their number.
For such an arrangement to work, each person brought something that would encourage the group. The first groups of Christians were not so tightly and organizationally organized that people relied on just a few to do the work. Their assemblies together were not the formalized structures that characterize “church” today-there were no formalized and scripted “worship services.” Rather the meetings were organic in nature: people met daily, and lived life together.
Looking at this example from Acts, we might ask ourselves the question: what do I bring to the assembly? How does the Lord want me to encourage the assembly? How is the Lord leading me to participate in the meeting of his people? As we go through this series, let us pray about the role we play in the assembly of believers.