Why Study the Book of Acts? It Reminds Us Where to Focus Our Ministry
A quick search of Amazon.com for "church growth" reveals over 27,000 resources dedicated to teaching churches growth principles and strategies. Likewise, 7,000 titles on "church planting" weigh down the shelves of the on-line retailer. While such books can be helpful, Eckhard Schnabel believes there is a discrepancy between church growth principles that usually arise out of the business world and the focus of the early Church that we find in Acts.
In our video today, Schnabel (author of the Acts commentary from the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series) argues that the concerns that seem to consume modern pastors and church leaders bear little connection to the earliest of Church leaders. Church growth principles and outreach strategies were not upper-most in the minds of the apostles.
What did the apostles concern themselves with instead? Telling and retelling and telling again the story of Jesus—his life, death, and especially his resurrection.
The key "church growth principle" what we learn from the book of Acts: What drives real and authentic church growth is a commitment to the gospel, which is about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Which makes sense because this is what the gospel itself is.
At the end of the day, it's not about techniques of planting. It's not about techniques of witnessing or evangelism, although Schnabel makes it clear we can learn from a variety of ways how to improve our own pastoral and missionary ministry. What's important is the gospel, and the heart of the gospel is Jesus and his love.
Sometimes it can be confusing what to focus on as a ministry leader, especially when the surrounding culture (and especially Christian culture) measures your success and effectiveness by the almighty equal sign. Which is why these strong words from our German friend at Gordon-Conwell are also needed words.
Take a listen and I recommend taking some notes. Our success in ministry depends on understanding the purpose of Acts, a manual for authentic gospel-centered ministry.
Cant see the video? Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73oybINkAsA
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