Summary: Acts 2 describes the qualities that allowed the early church to reach its world for Christ.
1. Illus. of my grandson Michael
• Not quite a year old.
• Didn’t get to see him last weekend.
• He has grown 6 inches and gained a hundred pounds!
• Not really, but it seems like it!
• But that is what you want! Babies are supposed to grow!
2. I want to talk to you today about growing churches. You might ask, “Why should I be concerned about the growth of my church? Why should I be concerned about whether or not FBC reaches the lost and unchurched of this city?”
• If you have children or grandchildren in this city, you better hope FBC is a growing church. Who will reach and disciple your children and grandchildren?
• If you have a lost loved one, you better hope FBC is a growing church. Who will reach and disciple your lost loved one?
• If you have a lost or unchurched friend, you better hope FBC is a growing church. Who will reach and disciple your friend?
3. Text: Luke describes the characteristics of the early church that caused it to explode in growth. Key verse is vs 47b
4. Today: any church that develops these same characteristics will experience significant growth. Now, it will be limited by its surroundings. Much difference between a Jackson MS and a Jackson AL!
5. What are these characteristics of growing churches?
I. GROWING CHURCHES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY SUPERNATURAL POWER
1. See vs 43. Sign = miracle with a message, a parable in motion. Wonder = miracle that has the effect of producing awe in those who see it, making them say, “What a mighty God.”
2. When the people of Jerusalem saw the supernatural power demonstrated by the apostles, they knew that God was behind all this.
3. Principle: the supernatural, the miraculous, gains a hearing for the Gospel, even with the most hardened of sinners. People are hungry and thirsty for God to do something that only He can do!
4. Illus. of Mr Sandy
• Wicked, despicable a man as ever lived.
• Led all of his family to Christ one night with “Steps to Peace with God.”
• Made a dramatic turnaround, almost something like Paul’s conversion.
• His secretary called me weeks later wanting to know if I could tell her about Christ. “Only God could have made the change in Roscoe Sandy that I have seen.”
• The supernatural, the unexplainable, the miraculous, gains a hearing for the Gospel!
5. You say, “I thought signs and wonders were the exclusive domain of the Apostles.” See Acts 11: 19-21. “Hand of Lord” = blessing, favor, power of Lord. Even in absence of apostolic signs and wonders, supernatural power was still available to the church! We can’t do signs and wonders, but we can have the hand of God upon us.
6. How can we acquire some of this supernatural power?
• Power comes by purity and holiness.
• Power comes by prayer (hungry and cry out to God for His blessing)
• Powers come with unity. I personally think the Holy Spirit would have come anyway, but its no accident that “they were all in one accord…” when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.
• Power comes by commitment. Why should God anoint that which is not going to serve Him?
7. If we want to grow, must have supernatural empowering by God!