After the day of Pentecost, we see the Church forming not necessarily as a result of the sermonizing by Peter, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that came down and settled on each of His followers. In Acts 2, we see the believers joining with other believers and devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, sharing their meals (and everything they had), worshiping together, praying and evangelism.
The first church was revolutionary and was certainly very attractive to the believers. Their singular focus—to be in awe of God—was the glue that bound them. They met in large and small groups (like our life groups) where they went places together. They realized that in order for healthy spiritual growth to occur, a believer would need to be among other believers. If a believer struggles, he would be propped up by the others; no one left behind.
We read about the believers selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to the believers in need. They happily gave away their money because they found something better than money: God.
When this group of Christians devoted so much time to the message, their numbers were added by the Lord, evangelism resulted.
Can we have this kind of church work in the 21st century? I believe God is calling the church to apply the values of the early church. The house-to-house church can be effective at providing a sense of belonging and intimacy, lacking in large settings.
I remember a quote that pastor gave regarding given the choice of coming to the church or small group meeting, if you have to choose, the small group setting would be his (and my) choice too.
The simplicity and purity of the early church in Acts should be an example for us today, yet the Church was in its infancy and continued to evolve to face the difficulties of growth beyond the house churches of the time. Over the centuries, many of the changes in the Church brought us further away from the real worship of our Creator. Let us not forget how the original believers came together and worshiped, touched by the Holy Spirit.