We would, for instance, each person pray for the person to the left without first asking what that person's needs were. So many times, our Lord revealed in the Spirit what needed to be prayed for and we were awestruck about the accuracy of things coming to the Light that nobody knew about. It so happened that people had emotional ties that they were suffering from without knowing the cause. During such prayer meetings, always at someone's home, we saw people's problems solved.
Also, we shared food and cared for each other. Then I was relocated to a city a thousand miles away in 1992 and we never could get such a mature and dynamic group again, ever. We have tried many times every time we moved to a new place but we just did not have the same. Following political change, most true Christians from my culture left and now live scattered across the globe. These people once were the artery that had fed world evangelism to a large extent. This initiative that once was a fast flowing river, had been reduced to a trickle and we can see the effect upon spirituality in many places.
Once we visited a small island country on the other side of the globe and saw how they care for another. Come church meeting time, all bring produce which is then placed on a small stage. My estimate is about two metric tons of fresh produce such as papaya, coconuts, mango's, bananas, eggs, fish and chicken get taken to the meeting. After the church service, all go to the pastor's house where long tables stand loaded with more of the same local produce, turned into delicacies. All eat together and there is a lot left, that get taken to poor people, the elderly, the hospital and school boarding houses.
Three times in my life had I witnessed how food increased. People would dish up but the casseroles would not become empty before everybody had enough. We have seen wonderful things happen where His people met in being of one mind, in Love, as His blessing was upon us. This is how a true church meets. Like in the early church, we did not have a designated leader, but those suited to specific tasks just did it, such as teaching, evangelising, praying for the sick, etc. Any or all of us could act as a priest or a pastor or as an elder or a deacon, for instance. Nobody had a title and management was done by any given group of instantaneously ordained elders to pray about a matter, seeking God;s specific will in that instance. An hour later, in a different situation, other people would be the elders or pastors. Each had a full-time day job and everyone was prepared to serve as the Lord guided gently through His Spirit. Nobody could claim seniority as all authority is in Christ Jesus who is our High Priest. We had none of the many titles people throw around to enhance personal status. All were equal and our meetings consisted of professional people with master's degrees and others with only limited schooling. There was no discrimination and we freely shared His Love.
That, and only that, is the church that Jesus will return for. A church with no banner, a church without a founding statement or a constitution as Jesus is our foundation stone and His Word is our constitution. I had a chat yesterday with a Christian lady from a city on the other side of Africa and she has a similar church there. Wonderful! I think she said they are about twenty people who meet every day! That is in a country where Christians are being marginalised and persecuted. We can only pray for their safety and well-being and that they increase in Jesus every day. I was glad to hear about her church and much encouraged by her faith and her vision to bring the Good News to others through her music talent.
Church of Acts, it is your finest hour, arise and spread the Love!