Acts 2, 42-47
Q: our church in 5 years (10 years) from now?
What changes will have taken place? - - - -
There will be changes. Whether they are good or bad, those changes will take place.
- My worst nightmare?
Having the same people, same room, and same number
Although I do want to see you (all of you) in 5 years, I do not want you to be the only people that I see in 5 years.
I want to see new faces; new people. I want to see the K of G being expanded through our church.
(Assumption: I myself will be here in 5 years, although I do not know how God will lead my life and what will happen to me in 5 years.
No hope for growth and expansion – quit right here and open up a museum!
No vision for the future of our church – why not go to other churches!
No purpose of coming to church other than meaningless repetition – why bother!
No change, no growth, nothing happening – what a bore! You wouldn’t want to come to church, would you? That will be a torture.
We want to experience growth.
We want to experience God.
We want to experience God’s Kingdom being expanded.
We want to witness people being saved, baptized; people who commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
I want to see growth.
I never think even for a second that God wants those empty chairs to remain as empty chairs.
I believe, God wants the empty chairs to be filled up with new people.
I believe, on Sundays, God wants to see lesser people on the streets, on the beaches and in the shopping malls, and see more people coming to church and worshipping him there.
And I believe God wants 4 square to be one of those churches, which live out God’s purpose for his people and for the world.
You see, the mandate of the church is to grow. It is the responsibility for the church to grow as long as there is even one soul out there who does not know Jesus Christ. Until that one soul comes to know Jesus Christ, church needs to grow.
I’m not just talking about numerical growth. I’m talking about the growth of the church as a whole in its capacity and understanding of what it means to be the people of God.
What does it mean to be the church?
Instead of looking at different places or programs, we need to go back to the word of God to find the purpose and vision for the church. Every principle that we need to know as a church is revealed in the Scripture.
If you only follow a leader, you will meet with disappointment, hurt and disillusionment.
If you only follow tradition and man-made rules, you will become legalists, Pharisees. Your heart will turn cold and lose passion; lose courage to dare.
If you follow different voices, programs, etc, you’ll be tossed to and fro not knowing where you’re going or what to do.
But, if you follow the word of God, you’ll never go wrong. Your conviction must come from the word of God.
(Vision is not created. Vision is discovered in the word of God. (The same with purpose))
With this in mind, see the passage and find the principle
- teaching (discipleship)
- the breaking of bread and prayer (corporate prayer): worship
v.43: power ministry (believe in the divine healing, but will not be a normative practice (God heals as he pleases.))
v.44-45: can’t be done in one setting
Q: Why do we find sharing our possessions so difficult? What do you think a first century Christian would think of the way we view and treat our material possessions?
v.46: meeting everyday and sharing food (more fellowship)
v.47: a. more worship b. evangelism
- The focal point of our experience as a church
If you don’t do anything else, do this: to come together as a people of God and worship him. Express your love for God. Through worship, we enter into festive celebration of what Christ has done for us. WE acknowledge God as the center, and find ourselves in him forming a community as his creatures.
(3 components of worship)
- Praise and worship: leading all attention and focus to the triune God
- preaching: church is founded on the word of God, on the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ; programs in the world vs. those in the church – it’s a losing battle; what’s unique about the church is that there is God’s word. If we compromise this, church has no reason to exist.
IV. Outreach (Evangelism, Mission)
It is our expression of love for the world.
Holistic healing – proclamation of the word of God/ restoration of the world as a whole into a God-intended reality
Rick Warren: two things we can’t do in heaven
Sinning; witnessing to unbelievers
God → worship → fellowship → discipleship → outreach