- Phone: (813) 655-7431
- Meeting Address:
15326 Fishhawk Blvd. Lithia, FL 33547
- Saturday: 5 pm
- Sunday: 8, 9:30, & 11:15 am.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” – Acts 2:45
An essentially self-evident truth is that a community of like-minded individuals will thrive more than those same individuals scattered and unconnected. It has been made clear through millennia of written history, it’s spelled out for us all through the pages of scripture, and even our children will often band together to play out the scenes of their favorite television show or movie. Literature ranging from secular works by the likes of Vonnegut and Huxley to the inspired allegories of Lewis and Bunyan all embrace the idea that humans together are better than a person alone.
The first few thousand converts to the Way of Christianity were no exception to this God-given, universal truth. They had taken an incredible leap, abandoning the thousand-year-old traditions of their ancestors (and their neighbors) and chosen to follow the teachings of a “dead” carpenter from an obscure province. Many were quickly disowned by their families, persecuted by their leaders, or forsaken by their friends. In the face of all of this, God had given to them an incredible new family of believers who worked tirelessly to support one another. The Bible tells us that no one was in need because when a need arose, this new family was there to fulfill it. They met together not only to worship God, but to laugh, talk, and (of course) to eat.
So if this truth is evident, not only in the world around us, but in the Bible before us, why do we so often ignore it? How many times have you found yourself on a day of worship wanting nothing more than to get in a round of golf, or go to the beach, or even to simply stay home? Have you ever allowed yourself to say something like, “I love God, but I don’t need to go to church.”? Or perhaps, “I’ll attend on the weekends when I can, but I don’t really have time to join a small group.” We surround ourselves with the trappings and ideas of this world every waking hour, leaving little to no time for the family of God. He designed us to walk through life in community, just as He has existed in community with Himself for eternity (Gen. 1:26, John 1:1). Imagine a shoe that wasn’t ever worn on a foot, or a wheel that was never attached to a car or bike. Each of those items is more or less useless when not placed into its designed place. We are much the same. God crafted us to be species that thrives best when we journey in community. As believers, we need to make the time and lift the arms of others and occasionally have our own arms lifted as well (Ex. 7:11-13).