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Summary: First in a series on the early church from Acts 1-4. This message deals with how to wait on God.

Note: Although my outline is very similar to a great sermon by Medford Foskey on this same passage, I only read his sermon after completing most of the work on mine. However I did "steal" his opening story.

“It is a sin to be good if God has called us to be great.”

That is the first line from Thom Rainer’s book “Breakout Churches”. When I first read those words several months ago, I knew that God was speaking those very words to me and to our church. Let’s read that statement out loud together:

“It is a sin to be good if God has called us to be great.”

I think that we have a good church, but I also think that God wants us to be a great church. So the question is, “how do we get there?”

Rainer’s book is based on research that was done on 13 churches throughout the United States who met some very strict criteria that Rainer and his staff established in order to identify churches that had gone from good to great. And in his book Rainer provides some very helpful information that can help a church move from good to great. In fact, our Elders have been reading the book and using it as a tool as we make some long range plans for our church.

But if we really want to have a great church, it seems to me that we need to see how God builds great churches and then join Him in the work He is already doing. So for the next seven weeks, we’re going to go on a journey with the early church and see how God was working then and see if we can learn some principles that will help our church go from good to great. We’ll look at the first four chapters of Acts and see how we can join God in the work of building a great church.

This week I read a story about a group of travelers were being made to wait on their airplane, which was late due to another flight being canceled. The crowd looked horrible and impatient as the time went on and on. Finally an angry passenger pushed his way to the front of the line, slammed his ticket down and said, “I must be on this flight now and I must be in first class”. The flight attendant, trying to be nice said, “Sir, we will get to you as soon as possible, but you must wait in line like everyone else”. He quickly said, “Ma’am, do you have any idea who I am?”

Without hesitation, she smiled, picked up her intercom microphone and said, “We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to gate 17.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at waiting. And I’m convinced that God has a sense of humor because He has this way of always putting me in a place where I have to wait.

I go to the grocery store and inevitably end up behind the guy that can’t count and has 32 items in the 10 items or less express lane. Or even worse, the guy has 11 items – just one over the limit, but of course the “10 item or less” sign doesn’t apply to him. And then, when the cashier totals up his order, he pulls out his check book and starts to write his check even though the sign he didn’t read also reads, “No Checks.”

And then there is driving. I can’t believe all the idiots on the road. You know the ones I mean. The snowbirds driving in the left lane 10 miles an hour slower than the speed limit. The cars in the left turn lane not paying attention and leaving too big of a gap between them and the car in front of them so I end up having to wait for the next light. The people talking on their cell phones, totally oblivious to all the traffic around them.

And then when I’m hungry and in a hurry, the lady ahead of me in the drive-through can’t make up her mind what she wants to order. And when she does finally order and pull up to the window, she has to search her purse for the money to pay for the order. And then, of course, she has to hand out all 5 Happy Meals to the kids in the back seat before she can pull away from the window.

Aah, I see from your reactions that I’m not the only one who hates to wait. But as we begin our study of Acts this morning, we’ll discover that was the very first thing Jesus called on his followers to do as they began to build a great church. He commanded them to wait.

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