Real people, Real life, Real God!
The book of Acts, written in the 1st Century AD, contains 28 chapters that describe the birth of the early church and the gutsy, real life experiences of the first followers of Christ. Forged together at that time by a shared experience—a life-changing encounter with the recently crucified, resurrected and ascended Jesus– these radical followers now approached life as a closely bonded community. They met together regularly in homes to share meals, pray, and listen to the teaching of the Apostles. They shared whatever they had, and often sold their possessions to give to those who were in need. More than one account describes how these new believers were willing to confront each other when a personal belief fell short of the kingdom values presented by Jesus. These were real people—living real life, connected to a real God.
These common men and women, endowed with uncommon courage and Holy Spirit power, set out to make Christ known to the world. They risked their very lives as they preached, taught, healed and demonstrated the love of Christ wherever God sent them. They changed both lives and the course of history wherever they went.
I believe that every church should desire be a 21st Century version of these men and women of God. Continuing in the supernatural power of this same Holy Spirit, I believe The Church should be a passionate community of true disciples who recognize His voice, follow His teaching, and change the world by making Him known wherever we go!
Today many people perceive that God is only available for 90 minutes on Sunday mornings although the Bible assures us that wherever we go God is there. He is the God of workplaces and gyms, college campus’ and high school hallways, big neighborhoods with big families, and small neighborhoods with huge dreams. He is a loving and compassionate God who wants good things for us-to see us find true happiness in an existence that includes Him.
That is why it is key, that as His followers, we take His presence out of the confines of the church building where it is limited to a Sunday morning experience and into the streets, and homes, and neighborhoods that make up this community. We have the capability and the responsibility to show people who lack hope that God is nearer than they thought and waiting to be included in their lives.
I believe that every church should have a goal to develop and raise up groups of people who are not only hungry for God’s presence, but who eagerly desire to take the message of God’s desire for relationship with us to various places, neighborhoods, and communities. Those are the places where we live, work, play, and exist day to day. And as that happens, each week, The Church will come together and celebrate all that God has done, all of Who He is, and all that we are able to accomplish when we unselfishly allow ourselves to live out all that He has put in us.
The Acts narrative continues–real people, living real life, connected to a real God!