Monday, March 4, 2013

Acts 2:47 Re-visited

Does your mind wander when you are in a meeting? Not just a boring meeting - any meeting. Maybe I have a defective "meeting gene" but it seems that one minute I am paying rapt attention to the discussion and the next off goes the old concentration to a separate area of my brain. For the most part I am still present in the body, though absent in thought.
I had such an experience in the sixth of six meetings this past month. All of them were critical to the future of the church I pastor. All of them were addressing their part in the future of the church. My absence in thought went to the question, "Why are we going to this much time and trouble when we are all very busy and most the people present were donating that very valuable asset of time?"
A passage from Acts 2:47 which concludes the chapter detailing the beginning of the church universal. That chapter is one of the most compact in the Bible. It details the effort of the first band of believers to organize themselves by selecting a replacement for Judas and then having reached the end of what they thought they could do spending rest of the time before Pentecost in prayer. I assume that last from the fact that they were in the temple for prayer the next day when the Spirit got the party started. The miracle of tongues, Peter's sermon, the incredible response by the people present is my usual focus when I read this verse, but, the last section is very instructive for any church.
From verse forty two to the end I see the Spirit's direction in the organization of the church universal. First He directs them to get the process right by being together in purpose (fellowship), truth (Apostle's teaching), commitment to Christ (breaking of bread), and, connecting continually with God (prayer). This process impresses the people who come in contact with them which encourages them to give the credit to God (praising), but, and it is a big but, the end result was God adding to the church daily the ones to be saved. 
I have three take a ways from this epiphany given in my "absent in thought" moment. First, we can organize but it is God who will direct our organization. Second, we will know he is organizing when we see people who have not called Him savior bend their knee to Him. Third, God will add daily when we are daily in fellowship, teaching, commitment, prayer, and praising Him. So here is my question for church leaders.
How do we prepare our specific environment to allow God to add to your church "daily" those who need to be saved? 

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