They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42).
From the very birth of the church, Christ-followers have expressed their love for their Saviour through action.
Christians act, not because of some legalistic busy-ness code, but because they sense a spiritual motivation to live out their faith in their service to God and to others.
Consequently, Christians have generally been at the vanguard of initiatives to eradicate poverty, provide healthcare, and promote education. In North America, many of our hospitals, relief agencies and prominent universities were founded by those who did so as informed by their spiritual beliefs.
And in underdeveloped countries, everything from agricultural methods to water purification, from vaccination to techniques to reduce infant mortality, have been introduced by those who embraced the call of Christ to act – often at great personal cost.
But to understand the core activities of the church, we need to go back to the beginning.
And those early Christ-followers prioritized in the 1st century what should be central for Christian churches in the 21st:
- the apostles’ teaching was written down – it now constitutes our New Testament. And the apostles taught extensively from the Old Testament. So the reading, studying, and applying all of God’s Word to our lives is to be a core activity.
- fellowship is the partnership of sharing life together around Christ.
- breaking of bread is a phrase used to connote the Lord’s Supper, observed regularly by the early church. In addition to a primary occasion of corporate worship, the Lord’s Supper helped maintain Christ-centred, cross-centred thinking.
- prayer – individually and corporately – is what God has chosen to use to evidence His power among His people.
That’s it – the core activities of the local church.
And those believers – engaged in what the Lord had called them to be busy doing – were daily witnesses to the risen Christ, spreading the gospel in the marketplace, and in their neighborhoods and homes.
Takeaway – would someone looking at my weekly calendar see frequent evidence of these 4 core activities in my life?