An Acts 29 Church

“Can I get a volunteer to read our text this morning?” asked the Bible class teacher.

Quickly a hand was raised.

“Thank you. Turn to the end of the book of Acts. And begin reading chapter 29, verse one.

Looking perplexed the volunteer says it’s not there.

“What? No Acts 29? Does someone have a Bible with Acts 29?”

Of course, no one did. Since Acts only has 28 chapters.

The teacher then made the point that Acts 29 is being written today by Christians and churches who are following the New Testament pattern revealed in Acts and the epistles.  An Acts 29 Church, as Paul Harvey used to say, is “the rest of the story.”

This illustration, however, raises some questions “What’s an Acts 29 church?” “What does it look like?” “What is it doing?”

1) An Acts 29 Church is God Praising Church.

From Jerusalem to Antioch and throughout the Roman Empire, New Testament Christians assembled to praise God (Ax. 2:47), fervently pray (Ax. 4:31), financially support needed ministry (Ax. 11:27-30), remember Jesus through partaking of the Lord’s supper and preach the gospel (Ax. 20:7).

Worship was a vital part of their lives. It wasn’t a matter of meeting an attendance requirement, but voluntarily and enthusiastically joining with other Christians to “worship God in spirit and in Truth,” as Jesus commanded (Jn 4;23-24).

(2) An Acts 29 Church is a Family-Bonded Church

One of the obvious characteristics of the Jerusalem church was the closeness of the Christians. These Believers “were together.” They “had all things in common.” They met together “from house to house” (Ax. 2:42-47). They were a spiritual family. God’s household.

Christianity was never meant to be a solo act. It has been often observed that we are not just called to believe, but to belong. The often repeated “one another” passages” remind us of our relationship with other believers. And the value of fellowship.

(3) An Acts 29 Church is a Bible-teaching Church.

New Testament churches were about more than just praise and fellowship. They “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Ax. 2: 42). They encouraged one another to grow in discipleship (Ax. 11:23). And through preaching and teaching strengthened the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith” (Ax. 14:22). They were interested in learning and studying the Word.

Too many churches are failing in the area of discipleship. Growth is a part of the Christian life. The shallow husks of social programs, entertainment, and superficial group meetings will not feed the soul and nourish the spirit. Discipleship is a lifelong process of becoming more like Christ. It cannot be achieved apart from faithful gospel preaching and fervent Bible study.

(4) An Acts 29 Church is a Need-Serving Church.

Beginning in Acts 2 and through the book, we read of the disciples meeting one another’s needs. Serving, sharing, and even sacrificing their own prosperity was common. (Ax 4:32-36).

Collectively the church ought to be sure that no member is left behind. Hurting. Neglected. Or destitute. Individually, it ought to be our desire “to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of Believers (Gal. 6:10).

(5) An Acts 29 Church is Soul Winning Church

The Jerusalem church was growing. The Good News was being shared. People were being converted. “And the Lord added unto the church daily those who were being saved.” The same was true at Antioch where “a great many people were added to the Lord” (Ax. 11:24).

It is been noted that The Great Commission (MK 16:5-16) is not a suggestion but a command. No matter what is else is being done, if we are not serious about evangelistic outreach, then we are failing in God’s Divine purpose for the church.

I remember the cry of old-time preachers who pled “Let the church be the church.” It’s a plea we need to hear and heed more than ever in the 21st century.

Is your church an Acts 29 church? Are you an Acts 29 Christian?

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

2 Comments

Filed under Church

2 responses to “An Acts 29 Church

  1. Perry Hurst

    Ken, this is Perry Hurst.  I’ve been preaching since 79 and have been with the North Terrace congregation in Chattanooga, TN since 2000.  I don’t believe we’ve ever met but I enjoy “ThePreachersWord” posts greatly!

    I have a question about the graphics you use.  Are they available to be shared?  For example, in this post, you have a graphic of a church building with people standing outside.  Is it allowed for me to copy this image and use it in a sermon powerpoint? Perry ADDRESS: Check it out!!!  http://www.ntchurch.com

    ADDRESS:   ADDRESS: Have a very nice day! 

    Like

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