Summary: Will you release your grip on that which is TEMPORARY and live for that which is ETERNAL?
Are We A Mega Church?
We’re continuing our series through the book of Acts this morning in the series I’ve entitled, “The Church on Mission.” My sermon title this morning is a question – Are We A Mega Church? Now according to the definition of a mega church that’s used by church growth specialists and missiologists, the answer would be an obvious “no.” A mega church is considered as such if they have an average weekly worship attendance of 2,000 or more. So by that definition we are clearly not a mega church. In fact, there are only a half dozen or so megachurches in the greater Chattanooga area.
But that’s not the definition we’re going to use this morning. We’re going to use a definition from our text today to answer the question “Are We A Mega Church?”
I’ve had the honor of serving in full-time, part-time and volunteer staff positions at six different churches in my ministry. These churches include a church plant that my family started in our home with about a dozen people meeting every Sunday to a church with over 5,000 members. Another church I served in had a $1M pipe organ that could blow your hair back; in our house church I led music from my $200 Casio keyboard.
Churches come in all shapes and sizes. Some church buildings are square, some are circles; some are rectangle like ours, and others are well – I’m not sure what you’d call this.
Some churches are traditional and haven’t changed since 1953; some are very modern and look more like a rock concert. Some are high-brow liturgical, some are low-brow country and western.
But the shape of a church, the style of the church, and certainly not the size of the church – none of those things are what define a mega church according to the passage we'll be looking at today.
As we approach this passage at the end of Acts 4, it's immediately after the church had a prayer meeting where they passionately lifted their hearts together to the Lord and prayed for boldness. Luke describes the result of that prayer - the place in which they were praying was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word with boldness. The experience was very similar to the day of Pentecost. There was a sensory manifestation of the power of God, they were filled with the Spirit and they all spoke the word of God with boldness.
Then if you'll remember in Acts 2, after the Pentecost event and Peter's sermon, Luke puts in this parenthetical paragraph there as well to describe the mindset, the culture/devotion of that early church. If you'll remember Acts 2:42: And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42
Now here in Acts 4 after the next outpouring of God's Spirit in power upon the church, Luke again describes the ongoing culture and life of the church. And what we discover is they are indeed a mega church. Look at Acts 4 beginning in verse 32:
32Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Now the reason I say this is a mega church comes down to verse 33. Look at verse 33 again: And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all
One word is repeated in that verse - the English word is "great." Circle that word "great" on your outline or in your Bible. Guess what the Greek word is for that - MEGA! There was MEGA power and MEGA grace upon this church. They were the first MEGA church, you follow me?
What are some things we see in this mega church and how can we be a mega church. Five things to note this morning. First of all...
I. The Guiding PRINCIPLE