Salvation within the Church community

The following is taken and slightly adapted from a sermon delivered on October 5, 2014 at Saginaw United Methodist Church.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
— Acts 2:42-47

Traditionally we read Acts 2:42-47 and think that the early church was experiencing rapid numeric growth. That is to say that everyday the Lord added new people to the church community.

I am sure the early church grew in numeric "metrics".

But could it also not be the case that all this face to face time with their neighbor and face to face time with God that more people who were already in the community were being saved?

If you did not have to worry about food. If you had a group of people you could count on to be there for you when times were difficult. If you feel the Peace of Christ in your life every waking moment. If you did not have to worry about paying rent when you lost your job because a community would help you out in your time. If you did not need to worry about your medical bills because you had a community that would sell what they owned in order to ensure you were treated. If you had all these things and more, would you not be saved?

Saved from anxiety, worry, fear and isolation.

Sometimes we talk about the world needs to be saved as though we are not the ones we are talking about. We need to save those people out there by getting them in here. And if we did that then the Lord would add to the number of people being saved.

I would argue that all of us need salvation (aka: health and wholeness). All of us need a community. All of us need meaningful relationships. All of us need face to face time in the relationships that nurture healing and wholeness.