The Early Church Leaders Possessed an Undeniable Commitment.
This is also a mark of excellence in Leadership. Luke wrote, “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14). “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). The key word in both of these verses is “continually.” They were steadfast in their “lifestyle” commitment, a commitment which involved three factors: (1) a commitment to learning, (2) a commitment to fellowship, and (3) a commitment to a life of prayer.
A Commitment to Learn
Luke said these believers were “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” In other words, they could not receive enough knowledge about the life and message of Jesus. They wanted to know more about His ministry, His death, and His resurrection. Those early church leaders were “teachable.” Their eager minds kept them at the apostles’ feet. Isn’t it ironic? Consider how fortunate a church is if half of its members arrive in time for church on Sunday morning? Equally fortunate is the church if half of its Sunday morning crowd returns for services during the week.
I previously stated that these early church believers were teachable. They wanted to learn and develop. How teachable are our leaders and workers? I fear that in today’s churches many of the workers feel they have arrived, displaying the attitude that training is not essential. After all, some have been teaching for years. Just the opposite occurred in the early church. Those believers could not absorb enough of the training and development opportunities provided by the apostles.
Here is an important principle to remember: All Leaders ARE Learners. If you ever stop learning you are dead in the water and your church is doomed to mediocrity.
A Commitment to Fellowship
Imagine the situation. The early church could not get enough of the apostles’ teaching. Also, they could not get enough of one another. “…devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship.” Only in the church could a common faith in Christ bond the family of faith together. Listen to Luke: “For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds to the apostles’, and lay them at the apostles’ feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need (Acts 4:34-35). The fellowship of the early church provided the necessary strength, love, and compassion each person needed. Their survival depended upon one another.