NBC’s new miniseries, A.D.–The Bible Continues, airing on Sunday nights, is focusing attention on the early Christ-followers. Would those first Christ-followers recognize what we call “church”?
Did the first Christians start recovery groups?
–The first Christ-followers met in Christ-led recovery groups where they encouraged and supported one another in their new lifestyle of following and obeying the living, resurrected Jesus. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.). Gradually those spontaneous, early, Christ-led recovery groups were formalized, rigidly structured, and put under the strict control of an individual called a “priest” or “clergyman.” Eventually the people were no longer allowed to speak in the meetings, but required to passively sit and listen to the same “clergyman” talk week after week.
–Perhaps it’s time for Christian gatherings to go back to the future!
Popular recovery groups, such as AA and NA are based on the 12-step model and are led by personal promptings rather than by pre-planned programs. I found two quotes in Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, that help illustrate this.
–“If you respond to God’s promptings ‘this is crazy’ will turn into ‘this is awesome.'”
–“I’ve forgotten most of the sermons I’ve ever heard and that’s a little depressing as a preacher.”
If you would like to see a Christ-led recovery group in action, visit The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, TN 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45.