“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
When we moved from Milwaukee to the Madison area in 1999, one of the most important jobs on our list was to find a good church where we could worship and serve. This was not an afterthought or something to do after we bought a house and moved and “got settled.” We looked for a church based on things we know are important to God. Why? Because the church is His Church. While we might like a modern building, and lots of cool programs and a coffee bar with fresh pastries, those consumer-oriented preferences weren’t on the list. You might say we were looking for a series of necessary “ands.”
The list of requirements appears in Acts chapter 2. This chapter has some amazing church history, including Pentecost, sharing the gospel in multiple languages (for all people), Peter’s powerful sermon and the practices of the early church.
At the end of the chapter the attributes of the early church are obvious. There are several “ands.” Each one is one we saw within the church we chose. We have been in this church twenty years. Don’t miss these important elements in your search for a church when you move to a new area.