“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47, NKJV
Just maybe the movie title, Back to the Future (1985 Universal Pictures) with Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly can speak to us today. After all, if the Lord can use a donkey to speak to someone, as He did with Balaam in Numbers 22, He can use Hollywood too, to speak to us, right?
And couple this with the worldwide pandemic that has swept around the world in many, many nations this 2020, it is wise on our part to look to the Lord and ask, “What are You saying? How are You using this to get our attention?”
Gatherings of over 100 people have been stopped from coming together in several countries. From the sporting events, movie theatres, educational facilities, to even now restaurants and bars, could the “new normal” of people and places go from the big venues back to the small ones?
And are the days of the “mega-churches” ending?
Will people really have to get to know one another on Sunday mornings, by going back to the small groups that were commonplace in the early church period? Rather than having the current, customary “file in, file out” pattern that has been happening for the past decade or more, as we have attempted to obey the command to not forsake the gathering with one another and say we have done the hour or two weekly, Sunday fulfillment of having “fellowship”? At least that has occurred in so many places in America.
Will we go back to the days of Acts example, when the early church believers went from house to house for proper fellowship?
That could tell us many things about how the Lord meant for “church” to happen.
When people gather in small groups, several things normally happen.
These are but a few of the things that can, and should, take place in the community of believers. What happened? Why don’t they?
Numbers became more important than individuals. Big buildings took the place of intimate rooms. Have you noticed that many new, grandiose church buildings don’t even have a “fellowship hall” anymore? I guess fellowship is no longer needed, but the emphasis has been elevated to being only the “worship experience”. That time of 3-4 upbeat songs is then followed by one man, or one woman, doing all the talking, imparting, as if they alone have all the gifts and life’s actions to express, alone. And then after that time of speaking for 20-30 minutes has been duly completed, all file out again.
We then go home our separate ways, each in their individually private, church-is-done-for-the-week way.
Personally, it has been a good 30 years since our family has been in a small group, a cell group, a house church, or whatever name is used by different congregations. So I don’t really have a lot of room to talk, except that I do know most of the 200 people in our congregation by name.
To those who have continued the practice of meeting in small groups, I say, good for you!
When the world goes one way, I have found that one of the ways to know the Lord is by going in the other direction. We can then better envision His purpose and plan in these times if we go back to the manual, the Bible, that He intended for us to use all along, as to how we should then live. (Good book title, Francis Shaefer!)
The early church met in homes, with breaking bread (food), fellowship, and worship. People became close friends and encouraged one another in those days and for the days ahead in their life. Maybe for those of us who haven’t done so lately, our Lord will use these times and give us a push to do so, to go back to the small.
Now think on this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder/President Love For His People, Inc.
SPECIAL NOTE: Our ministry’s new mobile app is available for iPhones and Androids is available. These are free app downloads! Look here: Love For His People free phone app
COMING July 10-11, 2020
You are welcome to help support the work of this ministry, including the assistance we give to families in Israel: DONATE online now. You can also send checks to: Love For His People P.O. Box 414 Pineville, NC 28134
Please share Now Think On This with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Others will be thankful you did. And I thank you too.
Now Think On This #490 – in the year of our Lord 03.16.2020 – “Back to the Small” Monday, 5:45 am in Charlotte, NC USA