These are the Scriptures that make people hungry to see the expression of Jesus’ church on this earth, and why they are not satisfied with our human attempts to create it continue to fall far short of it:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. John 17:20-25
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Someone sent me those a few days ago telling me that this is what they are looking for. “I have seen many forms of Church but have never found this. Is it possible to find a community of believers who Love Him and Love others and that is their devotion. Do you know of anyone that might have this on their heart or do you know of any churches that this is being lived out.”
Here’s how I responded:
For what it is worth, it is my experience, that no human and no program will fulfill those Scriptures. They describe a work of the Spirit not the work of humanity no matter how well intentioned. I don’t know of any “churches” living this out, but I know pockets of people all over the world who have found their way into that reality and share that kind of life with others. I have many connections that fall into this reality, but none of them would consider themselves a “group.” Instead this is an ever-expanding well of interconnected friendships that do all of those things by gathering sporadically as the Spirit indicates. Sometimes you’ll find pockets of those kinds of relationships in existing congregations, but it is not the congregation that creates it, but the work of the Spirit knitting lives together.
We don’t create it. We can’t create it. It’s what love creates as people learn to love the next person in front of them and watch what comes from that. It’s a lovely process but not one we can control or organize. The more we try the more it seems to elude us.