The Early Church Leaders Possessed a Definite Purpose
Acts 4:33, “And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and abundant grace was upon them all.” The early church had only one message to proclaim, the Lord Jesus and His resurrection. Luke abbreviated the message in Acts 2:23-34. “This man Jesus delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hand of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
The church possessed a single purpose. Everyone must hear and know Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They must know He is the only way of salvation. There was no compromising the message of the church.
A few years ago, while teaching youth in Vacation Bible School, I discovered that young people today are more knowledgeable and aggressive than ever before. During one of the sessions, a young lady asked, “Don’t you think the church is out of date? Don’t you think the church lacks credibility?”
My response was, “I am not sure I understand what you are saying.”
She replied, “I don’t believe the church is relevant. The church must update its message and methods if it is to reach today’s generation.”
I responded, “It is not the responsibility of the church to make the gospel relevant. It is the responsibility of the church to proclaim the message of a resurrected Christ and salvation through Him. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to make the message of the church relevant.” The message is the same. Methods may and should be different. We may need to vary our methods to reach people. But, never the message.
The message proclaimed by the early church must continue to be the message of the church today. There must be no mistake about it. We must busy ourselves proclaiming the gospel to all persons everywhere might come to embrace Christ as both Savior and Lord. Let it be understood, the message is always the same. However, from time to time methods change so that the message can be delivered.
The question is, how does the church go about proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ? What are the “excellent” ways of getting the message to those who are lost without Christ?
The possibilities are endless. Use the creativity of your leaders. I believe you will find that true leader, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, can and will provide find ways to reach out to a lost and hurting world.
However, there are some tools made available to us that will help us achieve success. One of the most effective tools available to the church is to reach out to the unsaved in your community. If we wait for them to come to us, they may do so, but more than likely they will never darken the doors of our churches.
There must be a “low impact” aggressiveness to our witness. There are effective “low impact” ways of reaching people. For instance, the church can take meals into low-income areas and feed the poor and the unfortunate; or go to where there are a lot of apartment complexes and “set up shop” for people to come and get free meals. You do not have to do direct evangelism. Distribute food and tell them who you are. This will go a long way to getting your church’s name out to the community.
You can also provide a Food Pantry for the community. Have it open to the public two are even three days a week. Make it where people will come to the church and get food. While they are there, tell them about the love of Christ. This alone will make a big difference in people’s lives.
Do a community give-a-way. Have people from your church bring items to the church they no longer use (make them good items). Offer them to the community. Just give them away. Now days, churches sell items to make money. Wouldn’t it be great for the church to give things away in the name of Jesus. Things people need and can use to make life easier and better for them.
Provide a free medical clinic for your area. Ask your community medical staff if they will come and help you to provide a medical clinic for those who are in need. There are many Christian Doctors, nurses, dentists, Ophthalmologists, Chiropractors, and others who will volunteer their time on a Saturday to provide services to people in need.
Like the early church, you need a definite purpose. A purpose given to you by the Holy Spirit.