Summary: One fundamental thing that contributed to the enlargement of the early church both spiritually and physically which cannot be downplayed is that they were TOGETHER. They were together as a strong team.
The church is very important to God. Acts 20:28 tells us that He bought the church with his own blood. God made a huge sacrifice to bring the church into being. He sacrificed His one and only son. Having sacrificed something very precious and costly to birth the church, having invested all the riches and wealth of heaven to bring the church into being (Colossians 2:3, Ephesians 3:8), God wants His church to stand (Matthew 16:18), God wants the church to enlarge; grow and increase both spiritually and physically (Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 2:47, Jeremiah 30:19). Jesus’ last words to His disciples, what we commonly refer to as ‘The Great Commission’ is Jesus simply telling His disciples go and multiply, increase and enlarge the number of disciples all over the world.
If we want to understand what it means for a church to enlarge, we have a prototype we can use as a sample or model for church enlargement. The early church experienced enlargement, the early church is a good example of church enlargement. Let’s look at the track record of the early church:
• from 11-120 people (Acts 1:15)
• then 3000 added (Acts 2:41)
• then grew to 5000 (excluding women) - Acts 4:4
• then multitudes added( Acts 5:14)
• then churches multiplied (Acts 9:31)
• they experienced spiritual and physical growth (Acts 16:5)
What is the case today? Very few churches are experiencing this kind of growth, this kind of enlargement. What is responsible for this? We can all come up with different answers for this. Some may say it’s because evangelism isn’t given an important place in most churches today, some will say it’s because the church of today is all talk and no power, some others may even go as far to argue that it is because 80% of churches today have no business existing in the first place, that it isn’t God that sent them to plant those churches. We can all come up with different reasons why the early church experienced rapid growth and enlargement.
One fundamental thing that contributed to the enlargement of the early church both spiritually and physically which cannot be downplayed is that they were TOGETHER. They prayed together (Acts 1:14), waited in expectation together (Acts 2:1), shared together (Acts 4:32), fellowshipped together (Acts 2:42), served God together, ate together (Acts 2:46), in other words they were together as a strong team. There was cooperation, there was collaboration, they were in one accord (Acts 2:44).
“Collaboration is multiplication”. – John Maxwell
JESUS’ SELECTION PROCESS
The early church started with a team made up of Jesus’ core disciples. Jesus showed that selecting, training, mentoring and developing a team is the first step to effective evangelism, to church enlargement.
Bob Gordon and David Fardouly say that there are 2 approaches to selecting a team:
1. Discover a NEED and then find a person to fill it
2. Discover a PERSON and then create a job for them within the team