42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Some of you will remember the cooking programme Ready Steady Cook. Contestants would be given a box of mystery ingredients and judged on what they cook using them. Church is a bit like that. We’re never given a constitution or a timetable in the Bible, instead we’re given some ingredients and told to go and do them in Spirit led ways as best fits the communities we’re working in. This means that churches potentially look very different in different places and different times. What are the ingredients? I think this is one of the key answers to that question: devoting ourselves to the Bible, living in community with each other, worshipping together including communion, caring practically for those in need (note, Acts doesn’t specify that this isn’t just looking after church members), and mission, proclaiming the Gospel backed up by loving lives.
Spirit, help us to take these ingredients and cook up a tasty church that’s attractive and just right for this time and for the communities we’re part of.