The Church Jesus Is Building – Part Twenty-two
We are looking at those who are no longer satisfied with the status quo when it comes to the Church, the culture, and their society. We have, along with others, called them revolutionaries. They are wanting to change the way we “do church” and, along the way, change the world as they spread the Kingdom and the Gospel of the Kingdom. These people – mostly young – have a number of characteristics…
1> Intimate worship.
In the early church every believer was expected to worship God every day, both in private and in the company of other believers as they gathered together for common meals. This did not require a “worship service”; it only necessitated a commitment to feel the awe of God’s magnificence, to express gratitude for His love and authority, to acknowledge His control and power, to follow Him with dedication, and to enjoy the miracle of His relationship with us.
2> Faith-based conversations
We are called to share His love with those who have not yet understood it or embrace it. It is natural to talk about and promote the things that excite us. Nothing should excite us more than the realization that God Himself loves us, wants an intimate relationship with us, and allows us to invite others into that sacred and priceless relationship with Him (see: 1 John 1:1-4). The evangelistic efforts of the first believers were carried out through preaching, low-key/high-impact conversations about truth and purpose, prayer, performing miracles to foster the opportunity to discuss the Source of their power and the joy-filled perspective they had toward God and life that created interest in their lives.
3> Intentional Spiritual Growth
The Church in Jerusalem endeavoured to learn more about the Christian faith and employ the principles of Jesus’ teachings. Believers exhibited a remarkable attitude toward life and people and acknowledged the presence of the supernatural in their everyday adventures. They placed their faith at the center of their lives and derived their sense of meaning, purpose, and direction from their connection to God and His commands.
Love is more than a feeling; it is a tangible reality when it is shared with other people through acts of selfless service. The early Church fostered the notion that serving the people was the best means of demonstrating the example that Jesus had set for them. Servanthood also showed the transformation that their faith had wrought within them. Like Christ, they lived to serve rather than to be served.
5> Resource Investment
Because we own nothing in this life, it is best to wisely invest the resources we manage for the One who is the true owner of all things. The first Christians defined communal living through their sacrificial sharing of everything they had. Note that the Scriptures specifically tell us that they shared “everything” with those in need, and that they used the variety of resources at their disposal – money, food, clothing, housing, relationships, influence, skills, time – for the benefit of all believers.
6> Spiritual Friendships
The Church was all about relationships. These friends of Jesus became friends with each other and revelled in their mutual admiration of Christ in their frequent get-togethers. The friendships they formed provided not only encouragement but also loving accountability for spiritual integrity.
7> Family Faith
Christian families taught the ways of God in their homes every day. Parents were expected to model a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led lifestyle for their children, and families were to make their home a sanctuary for God. In a very real sense, the home was the early church – supplemented by larger gatherings in the Temple and elsewhere, but never replaced by what took place in the homes of the believers.
These are the features that revolutionaries today are seeking for in any church that they might choose to attend.