“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 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, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
— Acts 2:42-47
When I read the book of Acts I see a picture of the Church that produces a longing in my chest that is sometimes hard to bear. There is a generosity of spirit and an intimacy that tug at me. There is genuine power. Sacrificial love. Simple pleasures. Genuine friendship. There is a tangible wholeness. True equality of value. Full belonging and participation. I see every member playing a significant part. Family in the truest sense of the word. Everyone has purpose. There is agreement and unity; wildy different people coming together in a common mission. The very real presence of Jesus Himself.
Church is not an event. It is not a location. It is not a dynamic leader with a great vision and lots of people doing all they can to make it come true.
Church is not an event.
Church does not happen at 11:00 Sunday morning or 7:00 Saturday evening.
Church is not an event.
Church is a people. It is community. Family.
Church is a family centered on and lead by Jesus. God’s family. Not a Sunday morning performance. Not a program. Not an event. It has events and it gathers in places, but it is not in essence those things.
I love gathering together with my church. Watching the toddlers play. Eating great food. Praying together and looking into God’s Word and worshiping and laughing. I love knowing them, and being known by them. Being myself. Not performing. I love people in my living room singing to Jesus and interceding for the lost and discussing the scriptures.
I love the way the Father uses these flawed people to make me more like His Son. It’s amazing to me the way we sharpen one another. I love seeing someone used by the Spirit to bring encouragement or instruction or even rebuke to the rest of us.
I love being part of different generations coming together for a common purpose - babies and teenagers and young adults and new parents and old parents and... I love the energy of youth and the wisdom of age and the carefree-ness of children all in the mix together.
I love encountering and being transformed by Jesus together with my friends.
I love scheming with these same friends about how we might invite and welcome others into this incredible Kingdom.
I love Church.