*originally posted at Life and Limb Blog
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to doing well in life, I like good, easy, practical suggestions. If you heard Pastor Aaron’s message on March 14 about how we can be contributors during our What’s Next series, you heard him talk a lot about Acts 2:42. His message was SO good, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you can get it here. It was so good, I knew I wanted to write a blog post just on Acts 2:42. I wanted to get to the solid, practical way we can live that out.
This verse states, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. So, what’s the no-nonsense simple answer to obeying Acts 2:42 in a simple way? That’s easy: church attendance, groups, friendship and prayer. Truly, there’s many more ways to obey that text, but I’m here to help ya out. 😉
The first part of that verse says they devoted themselves to the apostles’ (or in our case, pastors’) teaching and to fellowship. We are so blessed at The Grove to have some of the best teachers! They are unashamed of the gospel and will teach it passionately with a good mix of entertainment, aha moments of historical facts you never knew as well as gut wrenching heart checks. If you attend on a Sunday whether in person, drive-in or online, and take good notes, there is no way you won’t leave better for it.
And fellowship? That goes easily with church attendance too! Even with social distancing and masks you notice the smiling eyes and there are moments of intentional conversation. What’s super fun is all the connection that happens during one of the online gatherings – especially during the Ryan and Heather show!
Groups and Friendship
At the Grove Church we offer seasons of LifeGroups and seasons of Discipleship Groups. These are places where you can further dive into the teachings of scripture and learn how to apply them to your life. Not only that, you learn how to become a disciple by taking your own initiative for your growth in the Christian life.
The cool thing about groups is they kinda hit all the marks of Acts 2:42. That’s right. By simply joining and participating in a group, you will be completely obedient to Acts 2:42. You will devote yourself to the teaching by learning alongside others, you’ll often eat together (because the best of life happens over food), you’ll organically grow in fellowship/friendship with one another, and you’ll most definitely pray together.
Other group settings that we offer include: MOPS, GroveMen, GroveWomen, retreats and conferences, Senior Luncheon and more. I know we’ve put a pause on many things, but I anticipate many, all or variations thereof to come back before we know it!
One other little side note on friendship – yes, you can get friends through groups and joining serve teams, but there’s always a level of intentionality that you need to add whether you meet someone in a discipleship group or not. Notice someone comment something funny or that touched your heart during online church? Introduce yourself in the reply comment under them and then send a friend request! Meet someone in the discipleship group you connect with? Invite them out to coffee! Even on Zoom you can do this by using the chat feature! Be intentional – remember, Acts says they devoted themselves to these things. Devotion takes intentionality.
Last but oh so cliche-ily not least, is prayer. Devote yourselves to prayer. As mentioned above you can do this in groups. You can also do it by attending our zoom prayer meetings every Wednesday! These are some of my favorite times together. We have our faithfuls that attend every week and we have amazing people that pop in every now and then and let us join them in prayer for what’s on their hearts. I also truly love the multi-generational side of these prayer meetings. We have young children attend on their mom’s laps all the way up to seniors in their 70s! It’s such a special time. I will also say, when I was a young teen during some of my most formative years as a Christian, I loved just attending stuff like this to listen to the more mature saints pray over anything and everything. It did something amazing to my faith!
I also want to mention that during any of our gatherings, there’s opportunities to share your prayer requests so that our staff will personally join you in prayer. This can be done by filling out a connect card or joining the prayer room on our online platform.
“They devoted themselves…” To devote means to give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to. Wow. All or a large part. Am I devoted to teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer? Are you? We can only answer that question for ourselves but if you’re wanting to know where to start or how to go about it, I hope I’ve answered that for you today. We’re in this together!