The story of Acts 3 & 4 gives us two pictures: the micro church (small and in the details) and the macro church (huge and impactful).
Micro Church: Think Personal Stories.
Peter and John healed a lame man in Acts chapter 3 on their way to the temple to pray. It was not a program, conference, summer camp, or campaign. They helped someone right in front of them, obeying God’s commands. A crowd grew around them, so they preached the Gospel. They were arrested, so they preached in jail. The next morning in front of the political and religious leaders of the day, they preached once more. In living out our calling for Christ, we must remember these three things:
- Obey simply to change radically – Never underestimate the power of a fully committed life to Christ. Love God, love others….sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference.
- Occupy your street – God has you where you are for a reason and for a season. Jesus has never failed anyone who committed to follow Him, so why would He start with you? Jesus reached people in boats (Mt 4), at wells (John 4), and in trees (Luke 19). If God created you uniquely, then He has also called you uniquely. Are you serving God today, where you are? What about your class, your neighborhood, your family, your hallway, your sports team, your job, your friends, your small group? Start by influencing those around you to take the next step in their personal journey of faith.
- Preach anywhere in any way – We learn in 1 John 3:18 that our actions speak louder than words, but we also know that speaking the Gospel to others can be a beautiful endeavor (Romans 10:15). Where ever you are, whomever you’re with, preach Christ with all that you do.
Macro Church: Think Big Picture
As the result of Peter and John healing one man and preaching to the people who gathered, 5,000 people were added to the church and a movement of God began. Now two thousand years later, we can still draw encouragement from the fact that Peter and John were with Jesus and obeyed accordingly. I know this next line will be cheesy, but it can also be challenging if we apply to our lives, but we must remember that ….
We can’t spell ‘influence’ without u and i.
When we recognize that we’re both the bride of Christ and the body of Christ, we can can make an unbelievable impact for His Kingdom! So think about these three concepts regarding the Macro Church:
- We’re louder together – Think about the sound of one person cheering for their team in the comfort of their own living room versus the sound of a stadium full crazy fans…. The stadium will always be louder. Did you know, that the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks stadium actually got recorded by machines that measure earthquakes? They did so by being the loudest stadium in the America. What if the church became the loudest stadium in America, united together for His glory?
- We’re on a battleship, not a cruise ship – If you were on the sinking Titanic, then it didn’t matter where you stood on the ship as it went down… you couldn’t change the outcome. However, we’re not called to the good cruise, but to the Good Fight (1 Timothy 6), so it’s time to man your station. What’s your station? Look right in front of you and let’s get to work!
- The Church CANNOT and WILL NOT fail – Christ is the cause, catalyst, and culmination of the Church as we know it. Christ proclaimed in Matthew 16:18 that He will build His Church, and that promise rings true today. Christ did not die on the cross so that the church would fade two thousand years later… No, even with all our mess ups, sinfulness, and broken relationships, the Church across the world has never been bigger with more influence and more opportunities to reach people!
Be bold for your faith today, just as Peter and John were in Acts 4:13.