Sep 15, 2007

The Growth of the Church in the Book of Acts

Since God calls the church to be about making new Christ-followers, and helping those Christ-followers become fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ by teaching them to obey everything God commands us in Scripture, it only makes sense that such churches are growing churches.

The growth of the church, adding new Christ-followers and helping those Christ-followers become fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ, is what the church should be about. And that is exactly what we discover took place as the first Christ-followers took this charge seriously.

Here is just a small sampling we find in the book of Acts.
  • Acts 2:41 - “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
  • Acts 2:47 - “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
  • Acts 4:4 - “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.”
  • Acts 6:7 - “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
  • Acts 9:31 - “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”
  • Acts 11:21 - “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”
  • Acts 11:24 - “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”
  • Acts 12:24 - “But the word of God continued to increase and spread.”
  • Acts 13:49 - “The word of the Lord spread throughout the whole region.”
  • Acts 14:1 - “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.”
  • Acts 14:21 - “They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples.”
  • Acts 16:5 - “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.”
  • Acts 17:4 - “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.”
  • Acts 17:12 - “Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”
  • Acts 17:34 - “A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.”
  • Acts 18:8 - “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.”
  • Acts 19:18-20 - “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. Then they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas (drachma – a day’s wage). In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”

God is not shy about numbers. Numbers matter. Effectiveness in ministry matters. And effective in ministry is quantifiable in the growth of the church.

Come on! Let's get on with the work of the Kingdom! God has placed each of us in a context where we're surrounded by folks who don't know Jesus Christ. What more could we ask for?

Let's get it done! I want to see this Kingdom reality. Don't you?

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