July 10, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

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


*Note: if you have not watched Wes’ sermon from Sunday we recommend doing so for context. *


Our scripture from Acts 2 identifies four pieces that are essential for Christian community: learning, gathering, feasting, and praying. Learning leads to longevity in our faith; gathering leads to goodness; feasting leads to family; and praying leads to power. These things are all necessary to building a healthy, Christ-centered,
 community. As I reflect on this, though, I recognize the fact that the way I view community as a Christian is often built more around my own preferences.


I am a small group person. I love being part of a dedicated Bible study where I am going deep with a few people to whom I feel really close. For me, this is what community is supposed to look like. It was challenging when I was in seminary to hear that not everyone feels the same way. I was dumbfounded—how can church be church if we all prefer different structures?


What I saw as I gave myself more time, though, was that the goodness that I experienced within small groups wasn’t limited to a specific model of how to do ministry. My wife and I have been helping develop a Sunday Morning Community with couples in our age and stage that is called Trellis. Six years ago, I never would have imagined that community would look this way, but this community has been so life-giving and good.


This further affirms for me that community shouldn’t be built around a specific ministry model that feels right to me. It’s more about holding to the principles for community that Jesus outlines for us. Are we allowing learning, gathering, feasting and praying to be the highest priorities in our community? Or are we more focused on our own preferences?


These are challenging questions to ask ourselves, but there is incredible fruit on the other side of them. Imagine how our church could grow if we allowed Acts 2 to guide our view of community.

For Reflection

How do you view community? Are your preferences more of a priority than the four principles outlined in Acts 2:42-47?


Why is organizing community this way beneficial to our spiritual lives? How does it help us grow?


Jesus, please help me see the way that I am viewing community. Where I am veering off course, please correct me. Where I am lonely and in need, please provide for me. Where I am growing, please keep me rooted in you. I give this day to you and pray that you would continue to show me longevity, goodness, family, and power in how you connect me with others. Amen.

Rev. Wes Nichols
Pastor for Belong