The First Church
The Book of Acts provides a unique picture of what is now a global community of faith in its very infant stages. The people were passionate and brave at times, disorganized and confused at others. But in these texts, along with many descriptions and instructions from the writings of Paul, we can see the many underlying principles that made the earliest Church so successful. Join us for this 3 week series as we investigate some of these qualities from 2,000 years ago, and consider how we can continue to apply them to our own church setting today.
May 26–As Anyone Has Need (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor 12:4-11)—The early church operated on developing relationships in three different areas: with God, with the community of faith, and with the rest of the world. Their relationship building with the world outside their own faith community was very diverse, yet always aimed at the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus and the transformation of God’s creation back to His original intent. And so their example reminds us that the local church was never designed to be a “sequestered” group, living in isolation from the world. Instead, the Church is God’s means of prophecy (delivering his message) and restoration (the Holy Spirit’s power at work in changing our world), the same today as it was in the beginning.
May 19–Growing Day By Day (Acts 2:42-47; Phil 2:1-11; 2 Tim 3:14-17)– The early church was committed to studying the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus, and growing in their capacity to follow his example. This process was challenged constantly by outside ideas and beliefs, and by cultural practices, forcing the church to constantly discuss what was and was not appropriate for the disciple of Christ. But in everything, the earliest Christians were committed to growing in their knowledge, faith, and effectiveness, which is an example that the modern church can follow still today.
May 12–The New Spiritual Family (Acts 2:42-47; Gal 3:24-29; Col 3:11-13)– The first generation of the Christian church had a lot of challenges. They had no traditions to follow, no prior understanding of how to organize leadership, and with a few exceptions, no written accounts of Jesus’s life and how they should follow him. One consistent effort, though, was how they strove to live as a newly defined family, organizing their lives around the community of faith, welcoming people from every walk of life into their midst, and extending grace and forgiveness as often as it was needed.