(If you landed on this post without seeing the others in this series, let me explain what is going on here. Thursdays is my day to talk about God’s way for our congregations. Right now I’m in the middle of a series on the Jerusalem church and it’s success. This is the eighth post in the series. I encourage you to check out the introduction to this series to know more about what is going on and to find an index of the posts in this series as they are put up. Enjoy.)
Close-knit Family, not a Corporation
As we learn about the Jerusalem church, we will discover that they understood the principles of delegation and division of labor. As we start talking about that, many people will miss the point. We may use catch phrases that are common in the business world because there are many parallels. We may talk about mission statements, goals, plans, budgets. Even this series is talking about having a vision for the congregation. But Jesus didn’t die to establish a corporation. Jesus died to establish a community. He died to establish a close-knit family.
Consider Acts 2:42-47. Here were people that had all things in commong. They were selling their possessions and giving to each other. They were assembling in the temple every day and they were meeting in smaller groups from house to house every day. They praised God together. They ate together. They cared for each other.
Consider Acts 4:32-37. The brethren were of one heart and one soul. They were united in their care and concern for each other. They did not have a needy person among them because they took care of each other. Some even went to the extreme of selling land and houses and giving the proceeds to the needy among them.
Does this sound like a cold corporation? No. This wasn’t about ledger sheets, budgets, programs, plans, and bottom lines. This was about community and family. The Christians were finding a family as they met from house to house with each other. They were finding a family as they assembled with the entire congregation. They were finding the kind of support we ought to have in our families. But they were finding it sometimes from strangers who only knew that they were family in Christ.
It is amazing that this can be said of 3000 people who quickly became 5000 and potentially 10,000.
If we want to be what the Jerusalem church was, we will remove any visions of corporation and replace them with a vision of community and close-knit family. That is the great blessing God would have for us in His church.
(Make sure you come back next week as we learn that the Jerusalem vision is not Communism but sacrificing for the good of the congregation.)