Does this look like the Church?

Does this look like the Church?

Shared by TravisM

My buddy Marcus describes our heart and intention for the Polish Church right here. It’s also our heart and goal for our Church here at home and around the world!

Spend any time in Christendom, and you’ll hear evangelical pastors talk about wanting to establish an “Acts 2″ church.

The concept to which they refer is from the Book of Acts, Chapter 2, particularly in verses 42-47.  You’ll have to check it out.

While reading this portion of scripture today, I made a list of the Church’s attributes in that particular period of history.

The Church:
– Was devoted to the apostles’ teaching
– Was devoted to the fellowship
– Prayed together. A lot.
– Lived in a constant state of awe and gratefulness
– Saw many signs and wonders done by the apostles. (Interesting!)
– Was always together.
– Had everything in common; they shared everything.
– Sold individual possessions and goods.
– Gave to anyone in need (with the proceeds of their aforementioned sales).
– Met daily. (Did you catch that? Daily!)
– Ate together. (In case there was any doubt.)
– Had glad, sincere hearts.
– Had individual homes. (Not a commune.)
– Enjoyed favor of “all the people.”
– Increased in numbers DAILY.

Does this sound like the Church in America today?  Does it sound like the Church in Western civilization today?  Not so much.  I mean, even if you just looked at two of the key points — the DAILY meetings and the DAILY growth — you can see stark differences.

This doesn’t take away from the sincere, good intentions of pastors across the globe seeking to establish an “Acts 2″ community, but  this isn’t a feel-good, kumbaya kind of mission statement.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s an in-your-face, touchy-feely sacrifice of what’s comfortable in order to truly put relationships first.

How’d we get where we are?  And how’d we get from messy, organic, authentic, CONSTANT community to shaking hands with three people before sitting down for the sermon?  How’d we go from signs and wonders and daily growth to classes and programs and rapid decline?

I think our problem in the Western Church is that we’ve allowed the Church to become a subculture, which is simply just a part of the existing culture — which is broken, corrupt (Acts 2:40), and intimacy-starved.

We don’t need a subculture.  A subculture can’t produce this kind of church that changes the world.  We need a CULTURE — a counter-culture, even.

But that takes sacrifice.  It takes a violent tearing away from the comfort systems we have in place.  It takes a massive departure from how things are now.  It takes messiness.  It takes repetitive, nauseating reform in how we treat other believers.  It takes a fearlessness in intimacy. It takes letting go of our consumerist beliefs that drive us more than we realize.

I say this not as someone who knows “how it should be,” but as someone who knows that it’s far from what I’m able to do.  I know that internally, I’m too selfish and entrenched in the Western mindset to do my part to be an Acts 2 disciple.  But fortunately, that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Lord, the Church you founded is so far from where we are.  Give me and my fellow believers the strength, fortitude, fearlessness and ambition through your Holy Spirit to live this way, somehow.  Not so we can be great in Your eyes, for Your thoughts towards us always are love, but so You can be made great in the eyes of the world.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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