the weblog of Alan Knox

Mission and the Early Church

Posted by on Apr 17, 2008 in blog links, church history, community, love, missional, service | Comments Off

A few days ago, Jeff at “Until All Have Heard” published a very interesting post called “What Was the Secret of the Early Church?” In this blog post, Jeff quoted several authors in relation to mission and the early church. Here are a few of my favorites:

2. “In part, it seems to have resulted from an awareness that mission was the task of ordinary Christians and of congregations acting together. Professional agents and special boards did not yet exist. Unconsciously these early Christians grasped that mission was a total activity involving preaching, teaching, baptism, personal witness and service to humanity.” James Scherer

6. “The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men and women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion.” Latourette

8. John Gager maintains that while many external and internal factors contributed to the growth of Christianity, the single overriding internal factor was “the radical sense of Christian community,” which was open to all but required absolute and exclusive loyalty and involved every aspect of a believer’s life.

There are other great quotes in Jeff’s post. The common thread that I found running through all of the posts was that in the early church every follower of Jesus found themselves compelled to witness to the greatness of God and his work through Jesus Christ in their words, their life, and their community with one another. Even if the mission boards and professionals had been available, these “ordinary” disciples could not have stopped witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ if they wanted to. Why? Because that good news permeated and changed every aspect of their lives. For them, everything had changed.