“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42 & 47
There are certain things that people say to me every once in a while that make me light up on the inside: for instance, when one of my daughters says “I love you, Daddy!” Or when someone I admire says, “Dane, I really respect you.” Those words touch me deeply. But when it comes down to it, I live for six words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Those words, spoken by Jesus at the end of my life, are the six greatest words my ears could ever hear. But how can you and I hope to hear them? This question has been on my mind lately as our church prepares to re-launch as Impact Christian Church the first week in October. And for answers, I’ve been turning to an inspiring example: the original Christian church in
In Acts 2:42, we read about four of the
church’s five top priorities: “They devoted
themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of
bread and to prayer.” In a nutshell, that breaks down to: 1) studying
scripture; 2) caring for and sharing with each other, or fellowship; 3)
worship, including communion; and 4) prayer. A fifth priority is implied in
verses 41 and 47. In verse 41, we’re told that 3,000 were added to their number
in one day. And verse 47 says, “The Lord added to their number daily those who
were being saved.” This reveals priority number 5: Witnessing to nonChristians. Jerusalem
These were the Top 5 priorities of the first church in
, and I believe they are the top
priorities for any church that aspires to impact a community for Jesus Christ.
These five purposes can be summed up in three little words, which we’ve adopted
as our church’s mission statement: Love. Learn. Serve. Jerusalem
God has called us to LOVE Him and love people. God has called us to LEARN His word and hide it in our hearts. And God has called us to SERVE Him and others. As we put those words into action at Impact Christian Church, here’s what it will look like.
Love. Most people who visit a church for the first time will visit on a Sunday morning. That’s our point of entry for people beginning their Christian walk. So the main purpose of a Sunday morning service can be summarized in that single word: Love. Sunday morning is about loving God and loving people. Every week as visitors come in, we must introduce them to the Savior who loves them, and we must give them an opportunity to accept him and begin loving him in return. For those of us who are already saved, Sunday mornings are about expressing our love to God through the worship service, as well as loving everyone who walks through the door—Christian and nonChristian alike.
Learn. The process of spiritual growth requires more than just love on Sunday mornings. It requires additional learning: learning God’s word better, learning how to be accountable to other Christians and learning how to care for others in their times of need. And this learning can best be done in a small group. So, it’s important for a church to build a small group ministry: groups of around eight to 12 people who study God’s word together each week. In the process, they will learn more about shouldering each others’ needs and ministering to other believers.
Serve. To take our spiritual growth to the next level, every Christian needs to be serving in an important ministry on a weekly basis. Examples include volunteering in the nursery, serving communion, visiting shut-ins, helping out at a food pantry, even participating in community clean-ups. Volunteer opportunities such as these are about serving. Christians can take part in a ministry area they enjoy and make a positive impact on others. And as you serve, you will grow.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of Impact Christian Church (formerly First Christian Church of Victorville). Join us for our Grand Opening at 10 am Sunday, October 6th at the new
Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc. Ralph Baker