Gathering: The Acts 2 Church

Gathering: The Acts 2 Church

Article by Sarah Scott
At our most recent Trellis night, we practiced Gathering. The most familiar of the Trellis practices, gathering is something as a church we do on a weekly basis.

Every Sunday, we come together as a church body- we pray, we fellowship, and we hear teaching. We practice gathering every Trellis night, even when the focus is on a different practice.

We modeled our night on Acts 2:42-47 “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.”

We dreamed that this Trellis night would be our own Acts 2 church.

The entry into summer allowed us that dream- a smaller, stripped-down Trellis night than we have had before.

          A few trays of cookies and brownies.
          Two microphones.
          An acoustic guitar.
          150 people around tables.

We fellowshipped around tables as we ate carryout and dinner out of coolers.
We listened to members of our body talk about how they have experienced God- how he has taken hold of their life. He took them from death to life. He healed a marriage that seemed irreparable. We heard how he has used the practice of gathering to draw a daughter closer to him. He used other people to show her more of his goodness and grace.

We responded in worship.

And then we moved.

The 150 people entered the main worship center, a space made for 1400, for a time to simply pray.

To pray for the seats that are filled each Sunday.
To pray for the teachers who stand on the stage.
To pray that God would move in our church & in our city.
To pray for those we love to come to know Christ.

Acts 14:27 says, “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.”

As an adult ministries team, we have been praying that God would open doors of faith for the lost in our lives. On June 4th, we had a door in the wings of the worship center, on which RD invited those gathered to write the names of the ones they love who are lost. The door symbolizes what we pray for, that God would open a door of faith.

Within minutes of hearing the invitation, the line to write names on the door was filled.
Brothers, sisters, moms, dads, sons, daughters. I don’t know the stories of the names on the door, but to each writer- they are not just a name but a soul. They have value and meaning to someone in our body.

This is why we gather.
Not to make ourselves feel good.
Not to check off a religious checklist.
Not to see and be seen.

We gather to acknowledge that only God can save the lost. We gather to worship him. We gather to remind ourselves that we are not lone soldiers, but rather we are comrades-in-arms.

Our battle was best fought on our knees together, praying that the Lord would do what only He can do.

The practice of gathering reminds us that the Church is both a big ‘C’ and a little ‘c.’ We, as believers, get to be a part of both. We get to sit around tables and share our lives with those who live in our city, but also, we get to pray that “the Lord continues to add to our number day by day those who are being saved” throughout the global Church.

The door currently resides in the adult ministry office. A daily reminder that our Sunday morning gathering is not just because we are a church, and that is what we do. Our Sunday morning gathering is to strengthen and encourage our hearts. It is for us to remember our Savior. It is for us to link arms with fellow believers as we journey through this life. The door reminds us that being the church to one another requires and allows us to speak names out loud, through tears, hoping and praying that they will walk through a door of faith.

Let’s remember that these practices are layered and cannot exist without one another.
We can gather, but without prayer and reading scripture, it is simply just a social event.
A spirit of generosity cannot flourish without a commitment to read and pray. And without that spirit, we can come into a gathering feeling obligated and frustrated by another thing on the schedule. As we walk toward July and our hospitality practice, let us move forward knowing we get to gather as the church, just like the believers in Acts 2.


Pastor of Connections and Women’s Ministry