According to research by Thom Ranier and the Barna Group, when it comes to choosing a church people are drawn to a place where the members are friendly, welcoming, and seem to care about each other. Both people who were currently attending a church as well as those who had been unchurched ranked friendliness and congregational care in their top two reasons for choosing a church to attend.
As our passage today indicates, these are indeed important qualities for a church to have. At the end of Peter’s powerful sermon, thousands of people embraced belief in Jesus Christ. The followers of Christ had some identifying characteristics. They listened to the apostles’ teaching and they were committed to prayer. And they were also in the habit of breaking bread together, sharing meals and fellowship with each other in their homes.
We already saw that Jesus’ practice of breaking bread, giving thanks, and sharing it was something that people recognized; it’s recorded multiple times throughout the Gospels. His followers continue this practice, not just during the Lord’s Supper, but throughout the week.
Christians should especially be known as those who break bread together. All those fellowship dinners in the church basement, small-group potlucks, and prayer breakfasts have a spiritual purpose beyond just getting together to eat. Sharing bread in this way helps us share life together. It strengthens bonds of love in Christ. This fledgling church was known for their worship and fellowship. Unsurprisingly, many were drawn to the faith that inspired them and the joy that resulted from their belief and practice. Sharing bread with fellow believers is one way to start a spiritual revival!
Apply the Word
In our busy lives we often become too busy to break bread together. Consider whether there is someone at your church whom you could invite for a meal after your worship services. Whether at your home, a restaurant or coffee shop, it can be a foundation for fellowship. Remember that our fellowship is a witness to a watching, needy world.