The following is written by Pastor Mario Vega. Pastor Mario leads the Elim Christian Mission based in El Salvador (elim.org.sv). This blog is taken from joelcomiskeygroup.com.
“Jesus expected that his gospel be lived out in a group setting. Jesus himself set the first example by creating a community with his disciples; they lived with him 24 hours a day and shared everything.
“Later, when Jesus ascended, the church continued the practice of community life and remained together in the upper room. As the church grew they began meeting in homes every day. They ate together, sang together, celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, and recalled the sayings and teachings of Jesus together. It wasn’t a once per week meeting but an everyday occurrence as they celebrated the Lord’s Supper together.
“The illustrations used in the New Testament to describe the church are all collective. The flock always consists of several sheep. The body is made up of many members. The building has many stones. The ministers of the gospel form a team. The gifts of the Spirit form a bouquet that adorns the church and must be exercised together for the edification of others. The church shared their possessions and had all things in common.
“The idea of an individualistic Christianity has nothing to do with Scripture. On the contrary, we are encouraged to love one another, to edify one another, to exhort one another, and to confess our faults to one another. And there is a long list of “one anothers” that must be practiced together. Emphasizing that Jesus is the “personal” savior of all people does not imply that the rest of the Christian life is “personal,” “individual,” and should be practiced alone. There can’t be true Christianity if it is not lived in community and service. These elements must be vital for every follower of Jesus.”