10 Signs of a Growing and Healthy Church
Today we will be looking at Acts 2:38-47,
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
God’s will, done in God’s way, will always have God’s support.
Today we will be taking an in-depth look at the passage of scripture above and we will be relating it to, churches in today’s context. There is a lot of valuable information that we can pull from this section of scripture and it provides key insights when we diagnose what a healthy and growing church are supposed to look like.
We see this prevalent in verse 46, they meet together, and not just once a week, but they meet together every day. They broke bread in the homes (communion) and ate together, “praising God.” Praising God can and does take many forms throughout church culture. Whether it is singing songs of praise and adoration to the Lord, or enjoying each others fellowship. God is worshiped, it is evident that this is essential to any thriving church.
2. Convicting Preaching
Read verse 36, again “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
This had to be convicting, Peter is talking to the Jews that are listening at the moment. Talking about how they are responsible for the savior’s death. I would not want to be on the receiving end of that sermon. However, it was the truth and we see all throughout scripture that you cannot preach grace without truth. So it was needed in order to accurately portray to the Jews the amazing gift of Gods endless grace.
3. Testified of Gods Greatness, Glory, and Grace
This means that in the time that they met together every day, they took time to share real stories about how God has revealed Himself to people. They have amazing stories of how God worked in their families, healings that God had done, and miracles that God performed in the cities.
4. Teaching Solid Doctrine
This one ranks really high on my list of important, especially when I am trying to find/choose a new church. They were teaching sound and biblical doctrine.
5. Worked in the Community
They served the community that God had placed them in. John 13:34-35 “34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” When they went house to house, they served the families that they came into contact with, which means providing food, medicine, and other needs that they came across.
6. Witnessed Daily in the Temple
The temple was the common gathering place for all the people in the city, so this was a great place to go as there was already a large group of people. They would go and walk in the Courtyard of the temple, and witness to non-believers. They would perform works and reveal to people the glory of God.
7. Welcomed All
They would allow anyone to come to Christ, there was no partiality, this means that Jew and Greek were able to receive the Good News of Christ.
8. People Were Being Saved
This is key for a growing and thriving Church. People need to be hearing the Good News from you and people need to be getting saved. That is how the church grows with new believers. This means that the people attending your church need to be sharing the Word just as much as the Elders need to be teaching it.
9. Willingness to Serve the Community
As a Church, we are called to take care of the poor, the elderly, the widows, and the community in general.
10. Will of God was their Highest Priority
We see this because of the life change that God was doing throughout the cities. This is evident because of the other 9 reasons that precede this one.
Ephesians 1:22-23 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.