“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Acts 2:46
Let’s go back 2,000 years to when the Church first got started and disciples first started being made. The early Church was absolutely exploding in growth. In one day, it had gone from 120 people to over 3,000! In just a couple of weeks after that, 5,000 more men came into the Church. If you add women and children, it may have been as many as 20,000 new believers! Keep in mind this was not a homogenous crowd. The first generation of Christians was a potpourri of different cultures and backgrounds. There were at least 15 different nationalities. There were Jews and Gentiles, men and women, rich and poor, Greeks and Romans. How was this diverse bunch of people going to come together, meet together, and stay together?
Long before the Church had baptisteries, buildings, and parking lots it had kitchens and dinner tables. In other words, God’s genius answer to Church unity was community groups. Think about it. There were now tens of thousands of people who had become followers of Jesus. There were no church buildings like we have today. So, where did the Church meet? In small groups! Why are these groups so important both to the life of the Church corporately and the life of every Christian individually? It is because that is where relationships are built and that is where friendships are formed. Relationships have become a very important commodity in the 21st century, because the name of the game today is, “Me.” Because of social media, computers, and the Internet, we have never been more individualized. Tweeting and texting have replaced talking.
The reason the early Church didn’t just survive, but thrived, is because it became a community – and they did it through relationships. They recognized early on that Christianity is a team sport. We really need each other. There is strength in numbers. You may become a Christian alone, but you can’t live the Christian life alone; and you were never meant to do so.
Application: Are you trying to live your Christian life alone, or are you living it as God intended in community with a small group of other believers?