Man struggles to discover and employ new tactics that produce church growth while God’s word clearly establishes the pattern His church should follow.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
The book of Acts gives a compelling step by step template of how the first church grew after the Day of Pentecost. I firmly believe that no only is it recorded just for our information, but as a model for church growth today. If this pattern is adhered to by the letter, not only will churches be full and our spiritual lives strong, but the kingdom of God will grow and be advancing.
The atmosphere was prepared for growth when the Word of God was preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. It was not a matter of just declaring the Word; it was Spirit-breathed by the Holy Ghost. Because the Word of God was Spirit-breathed, those who heard gladly received and obeyed it. If God’s Word is indeed received, there will be a response to it. The first church “continued stedfast in the apostle’s doctrine”. They stayed in fellowship with one another, prayed together, shared meals together, and were genuinely concerned about one another (Acts 2:42).
The people of God set the tone for growth by loving and staying in unity with one another. They were overjoyed by what God did for them and failed not to praise God for granting them divine favor. The most important component that was evident — they feared God. This unique group of people were not eye-servants or men-pleasers, but had a reverent fear for a true and living God who transformed their lives totally (Acts 2:42-47).
As a result of their obedience to God, and genuine love for the the body of Christ, souls were added to the church daily. There were no gimmicks, tricks, extravaganzas, and the like. Their main focus was what pleased God and what He required. God sanctioned the work of the church by granting signs, miracles and wonders. This great manifestation of God’s power will be present in the churches today if this model is duplicated.