by Craig Etheredge
Ministry would be a lot easier if there were a step by step handbook telling us how to lead our church…
The book of Acts isn’t just the apostles sharing the gospel and performing miracles. We see the very beginnings of the church and how it operated. We saw how committed the people were to the mission of the church, even when they fell short or were threatened.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:41-47
Let’s unpack this for a second.
The first point here is the rate at which the church was multiplying in Acts. Every day, about three thousand people gave their lives to Jesus. Three thousand people. And these people “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship. Devoted.
The point here isn’t the number itself, although it is impressive. The point is the same point that Jesus brings up in John 15. This church was a true representation of what Jesus was talking about. The church in Acts was producing fruit. Daily.
Is your church tapped into the vine? Are you bearing fruit? It doesn’t have to be three thousand people every week, but are you seeing lives being changed at your church?
If not, this might be a reason you’re not seeing commitment to the church grow.
The second point is this: The people of the church in Acts did life together. They were selling their things, attending the temple, and eating together every day. They were praising God and had favor with all the people. It wasn’t just a Sunday commitment. And it wasn’t a commitment constrained to a building.
Does your church operate outside of its walls? This doesn’t mean you have to sell your building and worship nomadically. What we’re asking here is if your church’s community extends beyond Sundays, Wednesdays, or your regularly scheduled programming. As a leader, part of your role is to help develop a culture and environment that help foster an outward focus.
Are you doing life together?
People are craving community. They’re craving for a church that shows up for them in times of joy and times of need. They just might not know it yet. They need you to help them see how Jesus wanted the church to impact the world.
What steps will you take to cultivate a culture like the church in Acts?