Influence

 the shape of leadership

God’s Plan for Your Church

The power of Acts 2 is available to you today

On the Day of Pentecost, the Lord Jesus Christ poured out the Holy Spirit on His disciples, empowering them to be witnesses for Him to the ends of the earth. Acts 2, which reports that initial outpouring, is not merely a historical precedent for Christians today but also a spiritual paradigm — a pattern of renewal and revival in every generation of the Church. This paradigm can be identified as the Acts 2 Model.

The power experienced then can become a reality now.

In the Acts 2 Model, the church is a Spirit-empowered community of disciples following Jesus and fulfilling His mission. It is a healthy church that embodies five key traits:

• Worship: pursuing and obeying God passionately

• Connect: engaging and maintaining loving relationships

• Go: evangelizing people locally and globally who need

the Savior

• Serve: using our gifts and talents to help fulfill the Church’s mission

• Grow: making disciples who make disciples

In attempting to implement the Acts 2 Model, it will help to reflect on the following questions:

Are you satisfied with the spiritual climate of your church? The New Testament church was birthed on the Day of Pentecost by a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The power experienced then can become a reality now. Relevancy alone is not transformational; the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessity. Pray that God’s anointing will permeate every aspect of your church’s messaging — sermons from the pulpit, teaching sessions, personal counseling, and mentoring.

Are you satisfied with the evangelism efforts of your church? Surveys frequently reveal that most people believe evangelism should be the church’s highest priority. In reality, it is one of the least practiced activities.

Are you satisfied with the state of discipleship of your church?

Can the majority of the people clearly articulate your church’s vision, values, and strategic plan?

If you are unsatisfied with your answers to these questions, you are not alone. Your situation may be unique, but the problems we all face are quite common. We all struggle. We all have difficulties, setbacks, and storms; but remember, this is God’s church, and Jesus is the master builder. He will perform what only He can do, and He will help you do what He has called you to do.

You may think that you have tried new plans, new programs, and new ways of doing things before — all of which have failed or may have had less than earth-shattering success. I want to assure you that change is possible. Victory can occur.

It has often been said, “Good leaders define reality.” To have the courage to be objective about current situations and to take bold steps to a more productive and fruitful future are not always comfortable or easy steps. While it may take deep humility and the courage of a lion, we should never be willing to settle for anything less than God’s best.

One of the foundational keys to all church growth (numerical, spiritual, and financial) is for the church to take Paul’s words seriously when he wrote that a pastor’s responsibility is “the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12, NKJV). The expectation by many is that the pastor is the one doing the work of the ministry and that everyone else in the church is just a “helper” who has no ownership or buy-in. Paul says that is not correct.

Church does not have to be a “mom and pop” style situation where all the pressure for effectiveness and success is placed upon the pastor. Regardless of size, every church can experience a paradigm shift. Peter wrote, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). When ordinary churchgoers catch the revelation that they do not come to church just to receive ministry but to minister, this incredible paradigm shift causes churches to explode with life and health!

God shares a process in Acts 2 that offers any church hope — regardless of size, location, or current situation. In our shifting, changing world, God’s Word remains; and His plan for the original church has not changed to fit the times. It is as timeless as our mission.

Trying times have come before; and the Lord has graciously breathed life over the coals, bringing revitalization just when it seemed all was lost. Just as He breathed life into humankind and upon those gathered in the Upper Room, His breath of life is all that is necessary for us to spring up into flame again. He yearns to empower His church and see us make a great impact on our world!

Yes, for renewal to occur, there must be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

But there must also be an implementation of a process.

Both are found in Acts 2. It is not either/or but both/and.

 For more information, visit the Acts 2 Journey site.

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