TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES
Western culture is so different than the culture of the first century Church. The early Church did not meet in buildings on a Sunday morning. Often when we read the Bible and see the word Church, our minds automatically think of a building. But, there were no Church buildings to meet in. The Temple was used by those in Jerusalem, but that was not a place where Christ was preached or taught. There was no family worship in the Temple. Men and women worshipped apart from one another. Eventually the Temple would be destroyed in 70 AD. Some cities had Synagogues, but they would only be for Jews and Proselytes to Judaism (Non-Jews who converted to Judaism).
CHURCH IN THE HOME
So, where did the early Church meet to hear God's teachings and for fellowship? Acts chapter 2 is one of many places in the New Testament that gives us the answer.
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46. 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."
Verse 46 tells us that they met from house to house. Yes, they continued daily going to the Temple for prayer, but, the men and women did not worship together in the Temple or the Synagogue. The women would have only been able to worship within the court of women outside of the main Temple area. Plus, the Temple was only in Jerusalem and would be destroyed in 70 AD. Believers in other parts of the known World would have no Temple to meet in for services. And keep in mind not every city had a Synagogue to go to. Plus, no Gentiles (Non-Jews) would be allowed to worship in a Jewish House of worship unless they converted to Judaism. As Christianity grew, Jewish Believers (which would be about 95% of the Early Church) would be banned from the Synagogue.
Many have taught that the Early Church attended Synagogue and the Temple and that was the equivalent of going to the "Church". Going to the Temple would not provide the fellowship we see demonstrated in the New Testament. Remember that not everyone had a copy of the Scriptures back then. They would go to Synagogue or the Temple to hear the daily readings so they could commit it to memory and then pass it to the rest of their family. The home would be the only place for early believers to meet to be taught and to experience fellowship which included eating meals together, praying together, teaching, edifying one another through spiritual gifts, meeting one another's needs, and sharing the gospel.
IMPACT CHURCH SEEKING TO EMBRACE ACTS 2 COMMUNITY
At Impact we believe Cell Church is foundational rather than optional. Small-group ministry must be foundational to our churches today—not just another add-on. God chose to develop and grow the first disciples through house-to-house ministry and his purposes in small-group ministry remain the same today.
Impact Church is:
- Impact Church is a fellowship of Christians in the local area seeking to be the Church, instead of just attending a church meeting only. We meet in small group meetings from house to house.
- Impact home groups are a way of life (fellowship, prayer, learning doctrine together, sharing life together focused on Christ)
- Impact is a simple community, a spiritual family that gathers together, not only on Sunday mornings, but in our homes with every member participating.
- We are made up of Christian families, singles, youth, and older adults who are desiring to fellowship, have meals together, pray together, and to be taught Biblical instruction about the Lord in simple, New Testament ways. (Acts 2:42-47)
- So, rather than church being a service or event you attend, or a denomination, organization, or movement you become a member of or a program you fit into and help promote; at Impact, Cell Groups or Home Groups are the very foundation to healthy Biblical community.
Mike Holt's Connect Group
Tuesday Nights at 7pm New Caney Area
Contact info: Mike 832-794-2364