Today’s American Church is hip, it’s contemporary, and it’s equipped with marketing data to help it grow. And yet its attendance numbers are down, and churches are losing rather than gaining members.
There was a time when the Church was where everybody wanted to go, and when the church grew like wildfire. (And, as good as the movie was, I’m not referring to the seventies and the Jesus Revolution! https://www.foxnews.com/media/jesus-revolution-miracles-box-office-rave-reviews-audience ) Folks who attended church back then apparently believed you could Give Everything Up to Get Everything Back. But nobody really does church that way anymore, do they?
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:44-47 KJV)
In the early Church, believers were so unified that they gave up everything to live cooperative-style. They ate “with gladness and singleness of heart.” Believers praised God. And you know what? They had favor with all the people. There is a lot of truth packed into these simple verses. There are certainly some things described here about their behavior that make them a good model for churches today:
Some Things Should Never Change
Be together. Give generously. Share with others. Eat and fellowship together. Continue with one accord– it’s about all of us, not just about “me”. Have fun Praising God! Enjoy community with outsiders. They will not only be blessed by being there but will give you props for expressing ministry in love. Take ego out of the equation. Remember that it’s not about worship style or age or gender, but it’s about putting. God. First.
There’s an old saying that it’s always amazing how much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit. And guess what? When we humble ourselves and let God do it His way, it’s even MORE amazing! It wasn’t marketing that grew the early church, or the children’s area, or even the style of worship. It was the LORD who added to church daily. We can pay attention to those things, but the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Let’s change that old saying to: It’s amazing what can be accomplished when God alone gets the credit. Yeah, let’s try that.
Growing the Church
How do we get the church to grow? Just how do we fill the pews? Is it putting in a new coffee bar, or a playground kids can use? Are the demographics right, and should we move to Saturday night, And should we change the colors on our steeple's alternating light? The early Church's growth results were simply exponential; So how does Church today discover all of its potential? Here's a thought: the Church today should live in one accord, Aware out there that serving, loving hearts are never bored, And let the strategy--and credit--rest upon the Lord!
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