The first groups of Jesus followers devoted themselves to core habits that helped strengthen their unity as a group and their allegiance to Jesus. These are core habits that have been carried on throughout the history of the church and are the essential elements that make up a healthy group of Jesus followers. These habits are summed up in this one simple sentence:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
The first of these core habits mentioned in the verse above is devotion to the apostles’ teaching. The first followers of Jesus were committed to a life of learning together from the teaching that was being passed around by the appointed apostles.
So, what were the apostles actually teaching?
They were teaching followers of Jesus how to observe all that Jesus commanded and how the Jesus movement fit into the grand story of what God had been doing since the beginning of human history. This means that followers of Jesus were learning a new way of life and a new way of thinking about their place in this world.
One of the most fundamental questions that the human mind is constantly trying to answer is, “Who am I and why am I here?” Fortunately, the Scriptures provide us with a convincing and encouraging answer to these questions, but unfortunately, many followers of Jesus in the game find themselves still searching for these answers through their athletic talent instead of the apostles’ teaching.
Many of us are still in need of a new way of thinking about our place in this world. We still need to have our minds renewed by the regular reading and study of Scripture. This will mean more than a morning quiet time or a daily devotional. If we want this new way of life and thinking then like the first followers before us, we need to rediscover the core habit of devoting ourselves to a life of learning and studying together as a group of Jesus followers.