Everyone has an opinion on what the church should or should not do. Programs, outreaches, and events are just some of the many things that make the church better. But these things aren’t in the Bible and really don’t matter. So what does God want the church to do?
In the early church the apostles who walked with Jesus started up ministries to further the gospel and help other Christians. The church exploded at that time. Literally thousands of people came to Christ. So what was the church doing that made people want to become part of the body of Christ?
~ The early church was gospel-focused. “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and preaching the good news of Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:42, NASB.) They weren’t concerned with different doctrines and beliefs. If an issue popped up, they took care of it and moved on. They didn’t allow petty squabbles to distract them from their purpose: sharing the gospel. They also had a relationship with God and let Him guide them. “So the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace, as it was being built up; and as it continued in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it kept increasing.” (Acts 9:31, NASB.)
~ They helped those in need. They had the New Testament version of a soup kitchen. (Acts 6.) At one point they had a problem with favoritism but that was soon fixed and everyone got a meal. The believers also shared and took care of each other. “And they would sell their property and possessions and share them with all, to the extent that anyone had need.” (Acts 2:45, NASB.)
~ They were supporting missionaries. Paul received money from the church of Philippi (Philippians 4:15-18) and the Bible makes other references about churches helping other missionaries.
Would would happen if the church today went back to these principals? What if we worried about missionaries and those in need more than bigger buildings and more extravagant events? What if we stopped commenting about how someone dresses or the way the teacher arranges the classroom and instead concentrated on the gospel? Could we then see the light of Christ shine brighter and more people getting saved?