Summary: The Jerusalem church grew daily because there was such a contagious spirit among Christians that drawn others to it. The church today can also follow the example of the early church and become a contagious church.
BECOMING A CONTAGIOUS CHURCH
(Inspired by Bill Hybels book: Building a Contagious Church)
A PARAMEDIC was asked on a local Dallas TV talk-show program: “What was your most unusual and challenging 911 call?”
“Recently,” paramedic began, we got a call from that big white CHURCH on 11th and Walnut. A frantic usher was very concerned that during their WORSHIP service an elderly man PASSED out in a pew and appeared to be dead. The usher could find no PULSE and there was no
“What was so unusual and demanding about this particular call?” the interviewer asked.
“Well,” the paramedic said, “we carried out four guys before we found the one who was dead.”
A. We don’t know whether to LAUGH or CRY.
1. We SNICKER at the story because we’ve been in WORSHIP SERVICES that put us to SLEEP.
2. We SIGH because we know that God DESERVES better than that.
a. Ephesians 5:14b- “. . . Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
b. Revelation 3:1-2 (READ and COMMENT)
We often think that in order to be a LIVE, VIBRANT, EXCITING church then we have to be BIG — a MEGA-CHURCH.
I’ve been in some LARGE churches with a 1500 plus membership that were as DEAD and DRY as can be. And I’ve been in some SMALL churches that were on FIRE for the Lord and could LIFT the ROOF off of the BUILDING with their PRAISE.
B. Our congregation—the Rossville Church of Christ—can never COMPETE with the MEGA-CHURCHES,such as Southeast Christian in Louisville or Willow Creek in Chicago.
1. Of the 7 churches of Asia that Jesus addresses in Revelation, Smyrna and Philadelphia were the
SMALLEST and, yet, Jesus has nothing but PRAISE for those two small congregations.
2. We may never become a MEGA-CHURCH, but Rossville can become a CONTAGIOUS CHURCH.
We can BECOME a community of BELIEVERS so AMAZED by the GLORY of God, so TRANSFORMED by the LOVE of Jesus Christ, and so YIELDED to the POWER of the Holy Spirit in our lives that people in our world would be DRAWN IN and TRANSFORMED by what they EXPERIENCE here.
C. When I think of a CONTAGIOUS CHURCH, the Jerusalem congregation comes to mind.
1. On its very first day of EXISTENCE, there were at least 3,000 people who gave their lives to Christ.
The CONTAGIOUS SPIRIT of the Jerusalem church was not based upon its LARGE NUMBER, but was GROUNDED in the HEART of the INDIVIDUAL Christian. On the Day of Pentecost, the church started out with only 120 members (just a little smaller than this CHURCH). But they were 120 disciples whose ENTHUSIASM and JOY and LOVE for God had a CONTAGIOUS EFFECT that ATTRACTED others to Christ.
2. The CONTAGIOUS SPIRIT of a CHURCH is not dependent upon its SIZE—LARGE or SMALL. It is determined by the way individual Christians feel about God.
Acts 2:42-47 (READ). In the book of Acts we see the FORMATION of the CHURCH—the community of Christ’s followers—who were so CONTAGIOUS with the Gospel and the LOVE of Christ that people from all over the WORLD, from all WALKS of LIFE—all ETHNIC and CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS—were IMPACTED and DRAWN into this new COMMUNITY and TRANSFORMED by what they EXPERIENCED.