"All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer." Acts 2:42 (NLT)

The term missional community is a popular and contemporary label for an ancient, biblical practice. Three spiritual realities are foundational for healthy missional communities to exist: they must be God-called, Christ-centered and Spirit-led.

A clear picture of this type of missional community comes into focus in Acts 2:42-27. Living as part of a missional community so powerful and visible in this setting that the author Luke observed "and each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved." (vs. 27)

Let's take a moment to look more deeply into the four priorities of this early church gathered and how they shared life and mission as described in Acts 2:42:

Apostles teaching - at the time, the only scriptures available to these believers were the Hebrew Scriptures, which we now refer to as the Old Testament. The Apostles, who lived with Jesus daily for three years, were the primary source of what would later become the New Testament. So, the current day equivalent to the "Apostles teaching" is New Testament Bible study.

Fellowship (Koinonia) - the Greek word commonly translated "fellowship" is the practice of Christians living in relationships that are marked by sincerity, authenticity and a unity of mission. There were other earlier versions of communal living (such as the Jewish sect, Essenes) but this experience of Koinonia was different in many ways; including being so influential in the neighborhoods where these followers of Jesus lived.

Breaking of Bread - these gatherings of believers shared meals together. Acts 2:46 expands on verse 42: "They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity." It is important to notice that these relationships were not based solely on friendship but upon the central message and presence of Jesus Christ.

Prayer - the resurrection of Jesus ushered in a new way of living as a Body of Christ on mission in a world desperately needing hope and salvation. As heirs of the promises initially made to Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people, they (and we) are "blessed to be a blessing". Part of blessing others includes prayers for forgiveness, healing, strength in persecution and for God's kingdom to come on earth as in heaven.

We are called in YFC Deaf Teen Quest to reach deaf and hard of hearing young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will never be accomplished by individuals, no matter how hard we work individually. As we gather in His name in missional community, we are transformed to become transformational in our world.

Are you part of a missional community? Are you living in Koinonia with other Christians? Are you regularly studying the teaching of the Apostles? Are you sharing meals with other Christians and remembering the Host of the banquet when you gather? Are we praying together, really praying, for God's kingdom to show itself here on earth?

Our collective prayers continue for each YFC Deaf Teen Quest ministry to be truly God-called, Christ-centered and Spirit-led. We ARE a missional community. The challenge is to experience Koinonia in such a new way that it allows this mission to spread, flourish and honor God's calling for more Christ-sharing relationships with Deaf young people. We are sharing life and mission, in the name of Christ. AMEN

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