Friday, January 8, 2010

Would they do it like this today?

I'm reading a history of Christianity. And in the book the author discusses the social history of the early church (first 300 years). Lots of fascinating tidbits jump out, but let me talk about just one.

The early church saw an explosion in growth in the first 300 years. This was despite the fact that the practice of the day was to:
  1. Limit the involvement of non-baptized to either nothing or just the initial worship service, keeping them out of the communion dinner and fellowship.
  2. Baptisms took place only once a year (usually on Easter Sunday). Before baptism they would be interviewed to make sure their faith was sound and deep.
  3. It often took three years from when a person expressed interest in Christianity to when they were baptized. During this time they would get educated on the specifics of the Christian faith.
That's taking Christianity really seriously and not worrying about your church growth as an indicator of God's blessing.

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