Summary: The goal of the local church is to become an Acts 1:8 Church - a dynamic church alive with the power of God. The early church in Acts is our model.
Becoming an Acts 1:8 Church
-God’s Word Around the World-
Our goal for the Willow Vale Church is to become an Acts 1:8 Church. The history of the church as recorded in the Book of Acts reveals a dynamic church. The church was alive with the power of God. The church in Jerusalem started out with a launch team of 120 people and experienced spontaneous expansion first in Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria and unto the ends of the earth.
The church of Jesus Christ is an organism more than it is an organization.
The story is told of a German soldier wounded in World War II. The German soldier wasn’t seriously wounded so he was sent home and told to check into his local hospital. The next day he walked to the hospital and found two doors into the hospital, one said for those seriously wounded and slightly wounded, he went the slightly wounded door. He found himself in a hallway. He walked to the end of the hallway and found two more doors, one marked for officers and non officers. He went through the non-officer door and found himself in a long hall way. At the end of the hallway he stood before two more doors. One was marked “Party Members” and the other “Non Party members.” He went through the “Non-Party members” door and found himself back outside the hospital.
He walked home and his mother asked him how his visit to the hospital went. He told his mother that he didn’t receive any help but she should see how organized the hospital is.
Without the blessing of God and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life and ministry of the local church we are just like any other secular organization. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and the life of our church that makes a difference.
One thousand church attenders were asked, “Why does the church exist?” 89% said, “To take care of my family and my spiritual needs.” 11% said, “To win the world for Jesus Christ.” The example of the early church is clear. The mission of the church is to win the world to Jesus Christ.
Our goal is to be a dynamic New Testament church – an Indigenous church:
Rooted in Christ
Grounded in the Word of God
Relevant to the Culture
Self Propagating – sponsor new
The Apostle Paul is our example in becoming an Acts 1:8 Church. Acts chapter 9 God called Paul a Jew and former Pharisee to become a missionary to the gentiles.
Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas are sent out as missionaries on their first missionary journey. Acts 16 Paul has a vision of a man in Macedonia, “Come over and help us.” Paul and his missionary team of Silas, Luke and Timothy traveled on their second missionary journey from Troas by boat to Macedonia. In Macedonia they journeyed to Philippi. They met with a small group of women by a river outside Philippi on the Sabbath. Lydia a wealthy woman from Thyatira had moved to Philippi and accepted Jesus as her messiah and was baptized along with other members of her household.
Lydia’s home became the lodging place for the missionary team while they were in Philippi. As Paul and Silas went about their missionary work a slave girl (demon possessed) a fortune teller followed Paul and Silas and tried to disrupt their ministry. After several days of her agitation Paul spoke to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” and instantly it left her.” (Acts 16:18)
When the demon left her so did her fortune telling ability. Her master realized his source of income dried up and stirred up a mob against Paul and Silas so the city official had Paul and Silas put in jail. It was midnight and while Paul and Silas were singing praises to God the Lord shook the foundations of the jail and the doors and chains fell off every prisoner. When the Philippian jailer realized what had happened he asked how he could be saved from another possible earthquake that might bring down the prison walls and kill all his family. Paul used the opportunity to point him to Jesus and the entire family of the jailer came to faith in the Lord.
From Philippi Paul traveled 100 miles to Thessalonica the capital city of Macedonia with a population of 200,000. (Acts 17:1) There a large number of Greek men and many important women of the city came to faith in Jesus. Jewish leaders in the city became jealous and searched for Paul and Silas to attack them, but Paul and Silas left by night and traveled to Berea.