Structure and awakening – are these concepts compatible?

Last time we talked about the most important conditions listed in Acts 2:42-47 for the rich spiritual life of the disciples of Yeshua after the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), which led to the beginning of a great awakening. Everything is important here – prayer and staying in the teaching of God’s Word (which is here for the first time called the teaching of the apostles), and regular communication and unity of the spirit of all God’s children, and the internal structure of the community of believers is also important.

When we talk about awakening and mention the word structure, some very spiritual people wince: “What structure? Revival is something that cannot be systematized and structured.” Yes, when the awakening itself takes place, one can agree that the structure and systemic moments fade into the background. But in preparing for a revival and especially when it has already begun and is happening, structural moments play a key role so that the revival does not remain just a surge.

The internal structure of this new community of people, which was born in Jerusalem and began to grow and flourish, was important. Even in this brief description, it is emphasized that believers met every day either in the Temple for a general meeting or at home. When we read these verses, on the one hand, it causes bewilderment: “How did they manage at all and what did they do the rest of the time?”

On the other hand, there is a feeling of white envy. If they had such an opportunity, then it is understandable why this community has become so unanimous. It is understandable why the courage that was supernaturally given to the core of the Lord’s apostles and disciples extended to all of God’s children. It is understandable why they could so sacrificially serve each other and receive the salvation of many of their Jewish brothers and sisters. It is clear why this community did not disperse with the beginning of persecution and why, as they say, the world Church of the Messiah was born from it, which, having passed centuries-old trials according to the Word of the Lord, stands as a pillar and affirmation of the truth, will endure everything and enter into heavenly glory.

I think, even if we don’t even have such an opportunity, the principle itself and its observance are important: regular meetings – and not once a week, but more often. On the one hand, meetings in small mini-communities – home groups, family gatherings, where everyone knows each other well, pray for each other and take care of each other. On the other hand, general gatherings where the entire congregation of God meets to glorify God and receive revelation from God’s Word.

When such an inner structure exists and when it is a living means and not an end in itself, it makes it possible to effectively strengthen and lead the spiritual family. We also see in these verses the importance of spiritual leadership (in this case, the apostles) and community help. Without an internal structure, such assistance cannot be established. If there is no internal structure, really needy people will be left unnoticed and some active and especially unscrupulous people will receive help in the first place.

When the COVID pandemic began and there were restrictions on social gatherings, the Lord showed us and many churches and congregations how important home groups are. Through them, in the conditions of quarantine, the main life of the community was practically carried out – not only spiritual, but also in all spheres, including material. And this prepared us for an even greater test, which began on February 24, 2022. In the first weeks of the war, without an internal structure and well-established interaction of all members of the community, we would not have been able to quickly reorganize and organize in these force majeure conditions a prayer life and material assistance that has become simply extremely important.

If this lesson of the first community is not learned in good times, it must be urgently learned and applied in times of crisis. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to the factors listed in Acts 2 and use these clear indications of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) at a relatively prosperous time.

Boris Grisenko, rabbi of KEMO (Messianic Congregation in Kiev).

Based on the materials of the seminar “Jewish awakenings: continuation”

Source: Структура и пробуждение – совместимы ли эти понятия? (kemokiev.org)

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