When someone mentions the church, many people think of a building or one specific congregation. While the buildings in which we worship are called churches, they are not the church. And while a congregation or even a denomination may also be considered a church, they are not the church. The church is the family of believers in Jesus Christ. Each and every one of us, if we are believers, is the church.
The church is the body of Christ and we, as members of that body, are individual parts of that body. Just as your physical body needs all its parts, all its members, so too does the body of Christ. In the book of Acts, the early church set the example, the standard if you will, for what the church, the body of Christ, should look like.
As members of the church, we should be devoted to what Scripture teaches and to fellowship with each other. We should be devoted to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42). The breaking of bread means that we should take time to share meals – both the Lord’s Supper and other meals – together. Prayer shows our dependence on God, our hope for the future, and our desire to see God’s work accomplished.
As members of the church, we should be united in our beliefs and have everything in common (Acts 2:44). This doesn’t mean we follow the beliefs of socialism or communism, but rather that we are there to care for each other, to lift each other up, and to support each other in whatever way we can. We should be willing to help others in their need in whatever way God has given us the ability to do so. It could be financially, it could be lending emotional support, or it could be just spending time with each other (Acts 2:45-46).
When the church acts in the way that the church was intended to act, helping and supporting each other and praising God together, a wonderful thing will happen. The church will grow as the Lord increase our number by adding to it more and more souls who have been saved (Acts 2:47).