The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes…” (Acts 5:42)
This is a good question. We need to know why we do things in ECMI.
From our passage today, we will discover that e-groups or cell group or small groups had already been there even before the beginning or birth of the Church. In fact, our Jesus used the “small group” strategy to train and equip His 12 disciples.
From the above text, we find that the early believers met in two settings or contexts. One is in large setting which they hold in the “temple courts” and the other one is in small setting conducted in the believers’ homes.
In the New Testament, these gatherings of believers in small groups done in their homes are called “houses churches.” We believe in ECMI that if we are to grow like the early Church then, one of the most crucial and important ministry structure that we need to restore is the small group or group strategy. In ECMI, we call it our “E-Group” strategy. A Cell Group or E-Group (in ECMI) is important because it is the very ministry structure that the Holy Spirit used to bless and grow the Church in the New Testament.
Yes, it is not the structure but the Holy Spirit who is the One who causes the growth and vitality of the Church. But He uses structures and tools as well as people to accomplish His plan and purposes. This is the reason why we have the letter “E” in our “e-group” which stands for “EMMANUEL.”