Church Building Techniques in Acts
Acts is one of my favorite books in the bible. It’s about evangelism and church building, but so much more.
- A church that was unified in its mission, bold in its proclamation of the Gospel, and willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the Church.
- A leader, Stephen, willing to give up his life to speak the truth of the Gospel in the face of danger
- A crazy man, Saul, whose purpose in life is hunting down and persecuting members of the Way
- A miracle conversion that leads to unprecedented missions growth throughout the lands of that time.
- The Holy Spirit’s direction, a faithful church, and bold disciples.
It has it all.
In studying the book of Acts, I have been able to see some patterns and organization to Paul’s appear with respect to his goal and strategy for church building.
Paul’s Core Goals
Paul’s’ core goal was to establish churches by evangelizing in strategic cities to establish congregations and instruct new believers. From this base of “Acts church building”, he organized churches by developing leaders, building up members, and enabling those churches to become self-sufficient.
This strategy was accomplished through four normative principles that allowed for evangelizing new believers, making disciples, training leaders, and growing the body:
- The Holy Spirit was the core direction setter of the missions plan,
- The church and its leaders prayed constantly,
- The church was grounded in the scriptures, and
- The church, not the government or people groups or “agencies”, was the chief sender.
Paul accomplished this strategy through 10 basic steps. These are pulled from The Pauline Cycle by D.J. Hasselgrave.
|Sending churches convened|
Acts Church Building
To me it is clear that, Paul did follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting. It is also clear that he had core principles he followed at every step of his ministry. He did indeed have a plan that he developed based on those core principles.
As David Hasselgrave writes on page 50 of his book, Planting Churches Cross Culturally: North America and Beyond, “Effective missionizing and evangelizing requires careful, prayerful planning and strategizing.”
So why is this important?
Simply, the Great Commission commands us to go and make disciples. What are we doing about preaching the Gospel and planting churches?
It seems that the first century church, under Paul’s leadership, had it right with its mission strategy combined with a steadfast faith and an openness to God’s calling.
This indeed is an approach we should follow as we seek to grow God’s kingdom.
I would love to hear how are you and your ministry are being a Gospel light growing God’s kingdom?