Summary: We can find a lot of what the church ought to be like today by searching and finding traits, spiritual dna, of the first church. This message finds distinctive behaviors of the N.T. church that should be evident in today’s church.
“The Church’s DNA: Behavior”
Series: The Church’s DNA
Highlighted words tell the pastor that word/statement appears on a PowerPoint slide on the screen. The underlined words are for note taking for the congregation.
We started a new series of messages last week called, “The Church’s DNA.” We are looking at what the church should be like in 2006 based on distinctive traits (spiritual DNA) we have inherited from the New Testament church. Last week we tried to reconstruct, draw an image of what that first church looked like. We have no “Kodak moments” of those people so like a sketch artist we came up with a picture of our spiritual “mother” by what the Bible says. This is what we came up with; by the way, our church should have some resemblance of that church even though we live in a different time. This is all REVIEW from last week. First of all, the N.T. church looks like common people doing everyday jobs at work and at home. They are business people and self-employed; they were married, single, widowed; they are young, old, middle age. Those folks, then, looked like you and me today.
The church is made up of common people from all walks of life. However,
God’s people (the church) have an uncommon Spirit about them, the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible says that the same Spirit that lived in the first church lives in each and every follower of Jesus Christ today. Third, we found out that when you looked at the church then, you didn’t see a building as you see churches today, they met in homes all over the city. So,
The church today ought to be a scattered church, meeting and influencing the world they live in. We understand Sunday to be our “huddle time” when we get together as a large group to get the “plays” or directions from our God, our coach, and then break the huddle and go home to do life with our fellow believers. Finally, last week, in the picture we drew of the church, we also figured out that the church looked larger every time you looked at it. In other words, God kept growing His church week after week. We’ve inherited that trait too, so, even though a couple of thousand years have passed since that N.T. church existed, the church today should resemble that.
The church today should be a growing church. That’s us, Lakecrest, the church on this side of Lake Washington, a group of common people with an uncommon, extraordinarily powerful Spirit of God who lives in us. We are a group of people who scatter all over the community during the week reaching out to people as we try to connect the unchurched to God. That’s what the church looks like, today let’s look at how the church acts, distinct characteristics of the N.T. church and the church in 2006.
Crime scene investigators try to figure out what the suspect was like, not just what he/she looked like, physical characteristics, but what was he/she like. The victim may describe him, “he walked with a limp” or “she was acting really nervous” or “he had a certain accent.” When I call people on the phone they know its me before I tell them. My caller I.D. is my accent. It gives me away. I think I’m shaking it, though. Right? It used to be really rough and sounded funny. Thank God those days are over. I talked the way latino islanders talk when they are new in America. Anyway, let’s check out some distinct traits that were present in the church then and should be part of church life today. I’m not sure if to call these peculiar traits because when you and I think of peculiar we think of something that’s weird or odd.
Check out these “peculiar” pictures on the screen…(the pics are funny, odd pictures of people, and things that are “weird”; this is a good light hearted time).
Those are odd, the church is not odd!
I’m sure some unchurched people may think that you’re a weirdo because of what you do but I’d rather call what we do as church, distinctive, different than the world.
Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world…is from another place” (John 18:36). And think about it, the church, born again believers follow God’s kingdom practices, whatever that may be. God made it clear that He and this world do not operate in the same way. The prophet Isaiah put it this way,
“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work” (Isaiah 55:8 Msg). It’s no wonder, then, that the church has some distinct ways about it. Let me share with you some behavioral traits of the N.T. church that should be found in us, two of them today, a few more next week.