Summary: how the church must become a community of faith to reach the world for Jesus Christ
Intro: bowling, concerts, even movies, overall attendance is in steady decline. Up in attendance coffee houses, bars, hiking, biking and Rving. Evidently, closeness, community, personal interaction is becoming more important in our society. Church attendance, down. What is the key to survival, building a community of faith.
People are lonely, depressed and hurting, and it is the churches responsibility to identify needs and touch them. Three loneliest groups are college students, people who have gone through divorce and shut ins.
Building community is the key to survival in the church.
Building the Community of Faith
And the Lord added to the church daily
*as we read this verse we realize it is impossible for this verse to be realistic if the church only gathers on a scheduled time. It is only when the church is activated to touch lives every day, that this becomes a possibility.
George Barna reports that 10 million professed Christians haven’t attended church services in the last 6 months. If we can’t get church people to come to church, then what are the odds of attracting sinners. The whole concept of the church will have to be revised for many churches to survive in the coming years. If the church doesn’t build spiritual vitality, purpose and vision into people’s lives, it will fail because of lack of interest.
Here is how community is built
v.42-Christ centered theology—churches are trying to be built on personality, talent, gifts and performances. No program will replace the cross, no person will be a substitute for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Where there is individualism, there is division. Unless the concept is how will it benefit the whole, it will split people into special interest groups. The church must be all about Him, we focus on His mission, we gather in His Name.
v.42b-in breaking of bread—we come together to remember the sacrifice that was paid. We are united under the banner of the blood. Fellowship with other believers is essential, we all need relationships that build us up in the most holy faith.
v.42c- in prayers-there is power in unified prayer. We come together because one can put a thousand to flight, while two can put ten-thousand to flight. The local church isn’t built with lone rangers, but like the four musketeers, all for one, and one for all.
v.43-there is miracle power when we come together in the Spirit of God. We are spiritual dynamite when we are united by faith in God’s Word. If the church is to survive there must be supernatural encounters in the Spirit of God.
v.44-45-a true community cares about one another. When one hurts, everyone hurts, when one rejoices, we all rejoice. There are no schisms in the true body of Christ. It is never just about us, but about the entire body working together as one. Sometimes the competitive spirit of our society infects the local church where no one is operating with the whole in mind. Sometimes even ministries within a church can compete against other ministries. For the church to impact our world, we must see everything in light of community.