Why the Early Church Flourished
It’s no secret the Christian church in America is facing some strong headwinds, so much so that many believers sense they are losing ground in carrying out the mission Jesus gave to His Church. Is there something that is missing among God’s people that needs to be revived? Is there anything we can learn from the early church and how they stood tall in the midst of adversarial political powers, persecution, and the constant onslaught of nay-sayers, but managing to flourish? Perhaps these learnings will allow us to reflect on our own journey of discovery today.
For Adult Homes or Groups
1. Read Acts 2:40-47. Peter offers his first sermon, the Holy Spirit is poured out, the Church is born, and three thousand people are added in one day! What drew all the people to come together and grow together as a church?
2. What made the early church so appealing to others? Would these same qualities in God’s people still be appealing to people today?
3. What keeps the church from experiencing this kind of fellowship now?
4. What aspect of the early church do you most desire for your church or your Life Group?
5. What quality of the early church – devoting themselves to God’s word, fellowship, and support of one another, regularly celebrating communion, and prayer – do you need to revive in your own life today?
6. What “good news” word about God’s love and forgiveness do you need to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you today?
Families with Kids
1. Read Acts 2:42-47 with your family.
2. Have everyone share what they love most about being a part of your family.
3. Say, “The people we read about in these Bible verses were people who believed in Jesus. From these verses, how were these people like a family?"
4. How important is it for children to have a “family” to love them, support them, and be there for them? Are there any of our school or neighborhood friends who need us to be like their family to them?
5. Bonus Activity: Verses 44-45 say that the believers shared what they had to help those who had needs. This week, have everyone identify someone who has a need that they can meet.
Our daily reading plan has led us to the book of Acts. The author of the book of Acts is the historian Luke, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to recount not only the accurate details of Jesus’ life in the gospel of Luke, but also the historical account of the birth of the Church in the book of Acts. The book of Acts is sometimes thought to be named so because it is the “acts” of the Apostles, or the acts of the early church. Another way of thinking about it is to see the book as a record of the “acts” of the Holy Spirit -- poured out on Pentecost and filling new baptized believers who spread the the good news of the resurrected Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ultimately to the ends of the earth. There are twenty-nine chapters in the book, but Acts 29 and beyond is still being written today through the lives of all believers today.