This new community were together, they had a sense of connection to each other. They were now in a vertical relationship with the Triune God but also adopted into a horizontal relationship with His household, the church. The early church were taught how to be closely involved in each other’s lives (Eph4:32, Rom 12:10, 1Thess 5:11, Eph 4:2).
We too can build this - Because of Jesus’ death on the cross & with the Holy Spirit’s help, we too can build a community like the one described in Acts 2. A community who:
• Know & accept & care & love each other.
• Take off your own masks and be real & authentic.
• Joyfully sacrifice time, comfort & treasure for the benefit of others.
• Listen & encourage & talk to each other.
• Care but don’t control; who give but don’t remind.
• Seek out reconciliation and don’t gossip (Matt 18).
• ‘Tame our tongues’ and ‘speak the truth in love’.
• Get it wrong, own up, seek forgiveness & start again.
Authenticity is key (Eph 4v25) - Community thrives when people are authentic, open and genuine. Community dies when authenticity is sparse and where people pretend. Being authentic is being true to your own personality, spirit, character or situation.
Walking together in life is messy - There are no straight lines or obvious timeout zones. Doing life with others requires self sacrifice and trust. It can be hard. But freedom from the ‘demands of community ’ can leave you growing without the safeguard of having other Christ followers around you.
Lifegroups are important - They are intended to create moments where friendship and trust can be built; where 'you can be you'; where we can grow in our love for Jesus and each other.
Membership is helpful - It’s not a biblical command but is pragmatic. It signals an expectation to be cared for and expresses a desire to play your part in meeting the needs of the church family.