Saturday, January 12, 2013

What the Early Church had That We've Forgotten

Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time trying to understand just what it takes to see a church grow. Having experienced periods of slow growth, sustained growth, rapid growth, and no growth over the last 13 years here - I have quite a body of evidence to look at.

We've participated in some, not all, of the different church growth programs. We were "an intentionally evangelistic church" early on. Then we became a "Purpose-Driven" church and while the basic principles are super, the context we are in differs a great deal from Southern California. We've studied the works of Tim Keller, Francis Chan, and others.

So here we are on week 29 of another program, "The Story." The difference with this one is that it is strictly Bible. We've taken a walk through the Bible for over half a year from Genesis to now Paul's epistles. We've seen God at work in all sorts of situations with all sorts of people and followed the prophecies to Messiah's birth, death, and resurrection. Now the church has begun, Saul has become Paul and the church begins it's expansion.

The culture they were in was hostile. The government saw them as a threat. Established religions hated them.

And yet, they multiplied.

Have we forgotten how?

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