This post is part of the 1st Principles from the 1st Church series. The book of Acts describes the 1st Century of the Church. Led by those who had seen the risen Jesus and empowered by the Spirit of God, they multiplied from a small band of mostly Jewish disciples to a massive “Way” and eventually to a world religion. We desire to see such multiplication and Kingdom advancement in our generation. Thankfully, we have the Word of God to guide us through discovering the basic principles that drove the success of the early church. Join us as we learn from Acts how to partner with God’s Kingdom work.
Missions should be left to the professionals, right?
I can’t be a missionary unless I have been to seminary or have significant training, right? You have to be more holy, like an apostle, to go out and preach the gospel to the nations, right?
Many of us believe all of these, but in reality, none of these are true. In fact, when we look at the church in Acts, we see that while the apostles did preach a good amount, the spread of the gospel was mainly due to average, everyday, mostly unnamed Christians who simply lived and preached the gospel wherever they went.
Acts 8:1b says “And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Notice the end of that verse, “except the apostles.” The men who were specially called to lead the early church stayed and all the other Christians were dispersed.
Later, we pick up in Acts 8:4 and 10, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word . . . . Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John.” The Apostles didn’t even arrive on the scene until after the gospel spread.
Finally, we see later even more fruit from those average, every-day Christians in Acts 11:19-21. Those unnamed, scattered Christians preached the word in Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, “and the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” Antioch became one of the five major cities of early Christianity along with Rome.
All of this was because average, unnamed Christians were faithful to God’s mission and to the Gospel. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word, every believer is fully equipped to reach their neighbor and the nations with the gospel. Are you ready to join the army of the unnamed and reach the lost for Christ?