Acts 6:7 - And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. This ‘closed’ gospel was a major concern for Christians like Paul. And the church continued to grow. The early church's growth was often associated with meeting practical needs. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, who then went on to baptize 3,000 people were that same day, as recounted in the Book of Acts. Later Luke records that "multitudes both of men and women" were "added to the Lord" (Acts 5:14). 2. A Spontaneously Expanding Complex Network. These practices are noted in Acts 2:42 and can be seen in many of the congregations started by the apostles in Acts and Paul's letters. As church grew, the Spirit continued to guide in such situations as the ordination of Paul (Acts 9:17), in the welcoming of Gentiles into the church (Acts 10:44–47), in the parting of Barnabas and Paul for missionary work (Acts 13:2–4), in the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:28), and in Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts 16:6, 7). Growing a church is not an either-or proposition, evangelism or … The Book of Acts and the Epistles show how striking were the results. Acts 2:41 - So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. [5] The book of Acts is the story of the explosive world wide growth of the early church. Each of us has been impressed with the rapid growth of the early church. The growth of Early Church mirrored the growth of modern organizations in many ways. Please complete the form below and someone from our team will be in touch with you. There was an issue processing your request. It is very important for both the Global South church-planting movements and the churches in the declining West to rediscover their roots as found in the apostolic traditions in Acts and the Apostles' letters to the New Testament churches. These themes are also experienced as growing pains in modern organizations. “Before time began” God purposed to offer salvation to the world through Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9). First, the church of Christ was not established at “just anytime” in history. Early Church Growth . This tradition, based on the way of Christ and His Apostles is known as the Antioch Tradition. In the early church, racism was unknown; the Jewish synagogues allowed Black proselytes. The narrative centers on the ministry of Peter and John. Look again at the growth of the early church in Jerusalem: a. Thank you for subscribing. It is very important for us to look closely and carefully at this early church-planting movement to discover its success. To prove this point, let us take a quick look at church growth in the book of Acts, with a special view to the church in Jerusalem. The Book of Acts is a narrative about the birth and growth of the early Church. A social-rhetorical texture analysis of the book of Acts reveals three themes or stages in the Early Church: growth, competition and change. The question is: Why? Church Growth in the Book of Acts A church of Christ can and will grow spiritually and numerically when it is faithful to the word of God. How did the early Christian church survive? Generations of scholars approached this question from different perspectives and with different methods. The chart to the right shows the multiplication of churches from the first to the third centuries. Acts 5:14 - And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. The early church highly emphasized the essentials of teaching, fellowship, worship, and prayer. The early church was devoted to the apostles’ … Drawing on his training as a sociologist, Stark has suggested a general growth rate of 3.42% per year, or 40% per decade, in the early church. Share Share Tweet Tweet Email . Three thousand were baptized on Pentecost (Acts 2:41). In the early church, some regarded Christians as Jews who have received Jesus as the promised Saviour. As the early Church began expanding, it brought together many different cultures, which was both a challenge and a blessing. The Word of God Increased As the gospel shifts in the 20th and 21st centuries to the Global South, especially to Asia in this century, we are quickly returning to the apostolic era. In Christianity: Church and minorities. The church grew, and can grow today, by following in the footsteps of the early church. 13). Churches were planted in all the great cities of Asia Minor and Macedonia. Acts 13:49 - And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. In looking at ekklēsia, the Greek word most often translated “church” in Acts, we see churches that are locally self-governed and are supported by energized ministers. The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. Mapping the growth and expansion of the Early Churches and discovering the secret of their successful multiplication. Acts 16:5 - So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. The amazing growth of the early church The church grew rapidly during the first centuries. Please make sure all fields are filled out. One modern Christian writer describes how the early church worked together to … Today, missions, driven by western enterprises, see the mission as primarily a multiplication of individuals, as epitomized in parachurch organizations propagating an American “discipleship movement” that focuses on the multiplication of individuals not churches. As the Early Church expanded, the shape of the early church networks that emerged is also important to understand as we strive to get back to “the way of Christ and His Apostles.” From a careful study of the New Testament and early church research, we have attempted to map the complex network of the early churches that emerged towards the end of the apostolic age. The Early Church Growth Bible scriptures located in Acts 2:36-47 explains directly from God's Word the Early Church Growth topic. 8:11) b. The language of growth in Acts can be grouped into two broad categories: 1) texts that speak of the word of God increasing or spreading 2) texts that speak of the number of disciples increasing. In Acts, numerical growth is a covenant blessing where God multiplies and increases the number of his people through the ministry of the church. If a church wants to grow and if Christianity is to spread, believers must devote themselves to their pastor’s or leader’s teachings, they must be devoted to one another in the fellowship of the saints, they need to spend time breaking bread (or eating) together which required spending time with one another, they need to be devoted to ongoing, continual prayer, they need to be sharing with on… The first Jewish proselyte mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles was a governmental administrator from Ethiopia, … Paul and the early Church were not at odds with the laws of the Old Testament! As the gospel expands now to the Global South, we need to return to the Antioch Tradition–– to the way of Christ and His Apostles. Acts 19:20 - So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. When Jesus told his disciples that they would be witnesses to the end of the earth, they had no idea that this would include Gentiles. Consequently, any Gentile desiring to become a Christian must first become a Jew. An interesting episode in Acts that highlights the growing diversity of the Church and its converts is the encounter between Philip and an Ethiopian in Acts 8:26–39. The book of Acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It survived to the 4th century but was replaced by western Greek and Roman traditions. a. All rights reserved. the account of the first men who heard the Great Commission and reveals what anyone can B.Acts is a historical and Transitional Bridge. In the first few chapters of Acts we are told how the early church centered her ministries in the city of Jerusalem. 3 The Acts of the Apostles • Author: Luke, companion of Paul • Date: c. AD 62-69 • Theme: Written by a Gentile, Acts tells the story of the Early Church and its growth, especially through the work of the Holy Spirit & the ministries of Peter and Paul.

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