Summary: Inspired by several resources. Gene Mimms’ books "The Kingdom Focused Church" and "Kingdom Principles for Church Growth, Rick Warren’s "Purpose Driven Church and Thom Rainer’s "Simple Church."
The Kingdom Focused Church
“Empowering the Kingdom Focused Church”
> Acts 2 records the beginning the church age. Candidly, the church as we know it today was born right here. To read Acts 2 is to see the chapter opening with some 120 believers in the upper room and the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit of God literally “falling” in power. Not surprisingly, the chapter ends with this thought, “and the Lord added to the church everyday those who were being saved.” When the Holy Spirit takes control, people respond.
> The story of the development of the church continues throughout the book of Acts. In chapter 3, Peter and John demonstrate that these spiritually alive believers can heal both physical and spiritual problems. In fact, there is so much supernatural empowerment that by the fourth verse of chapter 4, that original group of 120 believers now was so large that Luke stopped counting the women and children. There were 5000 MEN who had trusted Christ. I submit that this is an indication of what God alone, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, can accomplish in the life of a Kingdom Focused Church.
> For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about the KFC. First, we sought to expose this church. Last week, we were called to embrace the KFC. Today’s message may well be the most significant issue surrounding the Church of the living God in our time.
> Today we are looking at “Empowering” the KFC. It takes no imagination and little discernment to realize that the church of the 1st century seemed to possess a super-natural power which the church of the 21st century doesn’t seem to even understand.
> Allow me to draw you 2 quick mental pictures. First, in the area of electricity. Have you ever experienced your air conditioner running but not working? May one of the “poles” have kicked out. There was power, just not enough or the right kind. Next, in the area of small engines. Have you ever by mistake, put gas and oil in an engine which only requires gas? Neither one works well.
> If we will keep these thoughts in our heads this morning, we will get a true grasp on the principles today.
> On a personal note, when I read about the church in Acts 2, my heart aches for God to do it again, right here, right now. My desire is to have the kind of impact in our town which this group of believers had in their place. My question is, how did this happen? What was the precursor to the Holy Spirit’s coming? What must we do?
> Turn with me to Acts 1 and let’s take a look at exactly what it was these believers did to open the door for the Spirit.
> (READ & PRAY) Let’s make sure we have a clear mental picture of what we have just read. This group of people has physically watched Jesus “fly away” into the clouds, they have been spoken to by men in “white clothes,” they have now returned to Jerusalem, they have spent some days together, and elected new leadership when the were overwhelmed, overcome, & certainly overshadowed by the Holy Spirit of God. They experienced the manifest presence of God and they were empowered and emboldened to tell people about Jesus.
> It is my belief that the secret to the empowerment of the 1st and 21st century church is to be discovered in verse 14. The Bible teaches us if we meet God’s expectations, then He responds. He wants to respond, but won’t until we do. We can find truths about God’s expectations for us.
1) God Expects Everyone. The first word in verse 14 says it clearly; “ALL”. No where in God’s word do we find an expectation that only a few or some, but His design and His belief is that everyone who is a believer needs to be together. For years, we have misapplied the Matthew 18:20. We gather in those services which are sparsely attended and quote this verse like a triumphant mark of faithfulness. But listen, Matthew 18 has nothing to say about corporate worship, Bible Study, or a public assembly. It is speaking directly to a situation in the church that is to be dealt with privately and correctly. The words are an encouragement for the times we have to deal with difficulty.
> When the word tells us about assembly, it is ‘all together.’
> In fact, Acts 2:1 specifically states, “when they were all together in one place.” Now some are already saying, “All of us, all the time? What is this preacher thinking?” Know what I have come to believe? When the church is assembled and some of the members are missing, it’s like going to a ballgame and leaving your eyes at home. Sound silly? Well, even if you could why would you? Or even why would you want to? Better yet, it would be like going to a restaurant and leaving your teeth at home?