Summary: Why was this early church SO powerful? It had discovered it could help its members not stop with HAVING faith, but fortifying their faith! What could this focus do for you? *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
Let me ask you: Why is the church here? (By ‘the church’, I don’t mean this building, I mean the group of people that makes up the church.) I’m looking for your feedback – *DON’T RESPOND if you’ve attended this church for over 1 year.*
Don’t you wish you belonged to a church like that?
- A church that reached out to everyone, of every race and background, and let them know that God loves them, and Jesus died for them?
- A church that ministered to the needy, hurting, addicted, divorced, and lonely.
- A church where you could come and hear clear, interesting Bible teaching that applied to your life.
- A church where you knew you were getting closer to God.
- A church where you just could SENSE God’s presence as we worshipped Him.
WELL, many years ago, there was such a church. This was a church where they were literally seeing new people saved daily. (That’s at least 365 people a year!)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
WOW. . .what a group of people!
What made this church so powerful? Let’s look a little closer:
This church was powerful because they had discovered the secret to being a church that functions the way God intended. I want to share that secret with you. This church discovered that it could help it’s members do 5 things:
1. Fortify their faith. (Discipleship)
“They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine...”
2. Find their talents. (Ministry)
“[They] sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”
3. Focus on God. (Worship)
“Continuing daily with one accord in the temple. . . praising God. . .”
4. Face life’s problems. (Fellowship)
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common. . . and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”
5. Fulfill their mission. (Evangelism)
“...having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
This month, I’m starting a new series where I share with you the dreams God has given me for this church. *ESPECIALLY on Thanksgiving Sunday, I’m going to be sharing a special sermon on the vision for this church. If you want to know where this church is headed, you won’t want to miss that Sunday!
In short, I want this church to become exactly what that early church was: A biblically functioning community.