At the beginning of the church, it experienced rapid growth. That growth came from faith and people realizing that the needed Jesus. What can we learn from the early church to foster growth today?
- Many Believed (Acts 2:41, Acts 4:4). The people believed the message when it was preached in power and authority in the way that convicts people. But there were many who stood against the truth (Acts 4:1-3). We also have to stand up to support the church or those who seek to tear it down will succeed.
- The Number of Disciples Multiplied (Acts 6:1). This growth happened because everywhere the disciples went they took the truth with them (Acts 5:42). We can’t just sit in pews expecting people will come in to hear for themselves. The Word must be taken to the people.
- The Church Worked Together (Acts 6:1-6). When a problem arose in the church of widows not being cared for, they didn’t ignore the problem or try to place blame. Instead, the put their hands to the work and found a positive solution. As a result, they found favor with people (Acts 6:7).
- The church flourished despite persecution (Acts 8:1). They worked in harmony and that contributed to growth but the powers that be would not have it. The Jews tried to stifle it. On the contrary, Christians used persecution as an opportunity to spread the Gospel (Acts 8:4). They didn’t hide or let discouragement stop them (Acts 11:19-21).
- The Word Went Throughout the Region (Acts 12:45-49). The Jews rejected the Gospel so the Gospel was spread to the Gentiles, they received it gladly, and growth occurred. It didn’t matter who the listeners were, they were welcome. The Gospel is for everyone and we should take it to everyone without prejudice.
Much of the rapid spread of Christianity was due to the work of individual Christians. They knew the power of the Word and were willing to bear hardship for it but did it joyfully. If we want the church to grow today we must first consider if our hearts agree with the early Christians and chose to take the Word to the world as well.
Every congregation is made of converts – people who chose to believe.