Summary: Church Consultants probably wouldn’t have started a church like God did... but His worked. How can we do Church today like He did back then?
How many of you have ever read the magazine called “Reminisce”? Several years ago there was an article in that magazine by a woman who told of her father having returned from the war. He, like many men, wanted to buy tools for his worksho, and one of the tools he wanted was a drill press. But tools like that were scarce and expensive. He couldn’t afford to buy one, so he built his own and used some unusual parts to build it:
• an old washing machine motor,
• a Model A Ford transmission,
• a car jack,
• a motorcycle kick-starter
• and a burned out drill chuck.
She said that he used it for more than 50 years and... it still works.
(Bunny Murphree Reminisce 10/02)
Now I don’t know HOW that soldier put all of that together… but I was intrigued by the fact that this man knew WHAT he wanted and he knew how to build it. He wanted a drill press, but he didn’t build it out of parts you and I would have expected him to use. He used the materials he had on hand. He used common, unimpressive, used equipment.
Now I’m fairly certain it wasn’t pretty… but it worked.
In fact it worked so well… it’s still working.
Years ago, God knew what He wanted
He wanted to build a church.
And God (being God) could have built that church out of any materials He wanted.
I. A Good Ad agency would have told God to make sure He did it right!
They would have done a demographic study to find and target a specific age group.
They would have managed the message so that it would appeal to that target audience.
And they would have told God to make sure this new church had…
• The best music program and song leaders
• The best youth program
• The best ministries for young adults/ senior adults
Then there would be billboards to buy, flyers to pass out.
And they’d want to build an impressive gymnasium so they could have an athletic outreach to the community. And of course, there would need to be a building program so they could have a state of the art Worship Center and Sunday School space.
Now, (for the most part) most of that stuff is ok I guess. There are many good churches who do those very things are very successful for the Kingdom of Christ.
But – we all know God didn’t do it that way.
No, God didn’t follow the advice of a powerful Ad Agency or Church Consultant Group. In fact He built His church out of common, ordinary, unimpressive materials.
It shouldn’t have worked… but it did!!
And it still works!!!
Why did it work?
What was it about what took place on Pentecost that gave the church such powerful growth and success?
Well, 1st - God was in it.
Acts 2:47b tells us “…And THE LORD ADDED to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Many good churches can tend to overlook this.
I mean we create our programs, we stage our events, we schedule revivals, VBS programs, Upward Football and Cheerleading. We just had our Passover celebration and Easter services.
And those are all good things.
We should seize every opportunity we can to bring people to Christ.
We should use programs like Upward Football, and Friend Day and different forms advertising.
When Peter saw the crowd had gathered at Pentecost he seized that opportunity and began to preach to them. Just like Peter, we should always seize every opportunity we can to reach people for Jesus. But after having seized all those opportunities, we tend to ask ourselves…
“What more can WE do to reach the lost?”
Now that’s a legitimate question.
But it CAN overlook a more BASIC question:
“Where’s God in all this?”
When I read Acts 2:47 and it said “the Lord added to the church daily” my mind drifted back to a story in the Old Testament.
In Genesis 6:22 we’re told: “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
Noah did his part.
He built the ark,
He prepared stalls for the animals.
He brought in food to feed them and his family.
And as he worked, he preached to anybody who’d listen
BUT THEN we’re told:
“Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, CAME TO NOAH and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.” Genesis 7:8-9
The animals… CAME to Noah?
He didn’t go out and get them?
Well, that’s what it says.
But if Noah didn’t go out and get the animals… how did they end up coming to him???
God brought them to him.