This post is a little different as it was originally written by my daughter in answer to prompts given for an assignment in her theology class at her university. In response to the model of the church in the book of Acts, she was required to share how she thought the contemporary church should change. Her answers are not based on one particular church congregation, but on required reading and broader observations.
“If I could change one thing about the church, I would want to do something to unify the church so they value God and loving others above their own opinions. So many people in the church body get offended and leave instead of forgiving the one who offended them. God calls Christians to live in unity and to encourage one another within the church body. If someone is always leaving the church because they are offended, then they are not going to church for the right reason. We also need to be teachable, and one can’t learn if they aren’t willing to feel offended by a sermon. The church also can’t have good relationships if members aren’t willing to forgive when someone hurts them, which will happen because people aren’t perfect. Lastly, the church is called to love others and to be an example to the lost people around them. If the church can’t get along with other members within their church body, or from another denomination, then why should the world want to be a Christian if all Christians do is disagree?
I noticed several things in Acts 2:42-47. First, I noticed that the new believers were growing in understanding, fellowshipping with others, and praying once they were saved. These things are important for spiritual growth and for a healthy church body. The second thing I noticed is that those who got saved at the same time were said to have all things in common. They all gave what they had, went to the temple together and fellowshipped in their homes with food. Most importantly, they were praising, and God “added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (ESV). What I notice from this is that they glorified God and lived entirely for Him instead of going back to a comfortable lifestyle. They gave all they had to those who had needs, and praised God. God gave them favor with the people and many were being saved. If people were to live a life of generosity, gratefulness, and praising and glorifying God, I wonder if the church would see more people come to Christ. These people had great fellowship, and they were eager to love the Lord and His people.
The change that I would make compares with what I saw in Acts as a picture of fellowship. My change would be for God’s people to be more unified in love instead of people always being offended by others. The picture in Acts shows God’s people fellowshipping in unity.
Ideally, the church should be an example of God’s love to the lost so they get saved, just as the church in Acts was being an example of God’s love and people were being saved.”
Lilly is a beloved daughter of God, the third oldest of nine children, and a sophomore at North Central University where she is majoring in music ministry. She loves God, family, leading worship, exercise, reading, and hobby farm animals.