This preaching series is looking at the path of discipleship, and thinking through what it means to be an apprentice of Jesus. This path involves being with Jesus, becoming like Jesus and doing the things that Jesus did. One of the crucial components of this is the community of faith. Following Jesus was never meant to be a solo pursuit, and when Jesus called the first disciples he formed a travelling community of twelve to walk the path together. In this sermon we look at the crucial role the community plays in the discipleship journey.
Bible Text: Acts 2:42-47
These verses describe the life of the early Jerusalem church. It is one of two churches described in Acts that is supposed to serve as a prototype for what the church should be (the other is Antioch).
Shared Devotion: The passage begins by describing the church as ‘devoted’ to four things: the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers. In other words, they were committed to the path of discipleship. Sometimes being consistent in spiritual disciplines and devoted in our Christian walk can be challenging, but we can spur each other on as we do these things together.
Shared Community: The early disciples were a close-knit community who shared their lives with one another. They were devoted to fellowship, and also to breaking bread (which in context is more likely a reference to eating together than to formal ‘communion’). They regularly met together at the temple and at one another’s homes, and also were open handed with their possessions, selling what they had and using the funds to meet one another’s needs.
Shared Mission: This church saw great fruit. God’s presence was clearly with them in amazing ways, and they saw many people come to faith. Being on Jesus’ mission is what we are trained as disciples for, and it is in the context of the Christian community that this mission is worked out. As we share together on the discipleship journey this creates a compelling context to invite others into, where they can hear the good news.