As Dave Black has mentioned on his blog (see his post from Friday, July 15, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.), he has asked me to teach the Book of Acts in his New Testament class. I’ve decided to title the lecture “The Church by Example in the Book of Acts.”
Obviously, I can’t cover the entire book in one 3 hour session. (In fact, I think I will only have about 2 hours or so, which further limits what I can teach.) So, I’ve decided to focus on the descriptions of the church that we read about in Acts, and perhaps briefly consider those descriptions in comparison to the church today.
(By the way, in case you didn’t know, our church also happens to be studying through the Book of Acts now. We just finished discussing Acts 10 together last Sunday, and we’ll cover Acts 11 next Sunday. I don’t think we’ll finish Acts before I’m scheduled to teach this class.)
As I think through the various ways the church is described in the Book of Acts, I also want to take into account the general tone of the book. Acts is primarily a book of actions (duh… it was called “Acts” for a reason). Because of this, I’m trying to use verbal descriptors (gerunds… words ending in “ing”).
So, here are some of the descriptions I’ve noticed so far (in no particular order):
In the Book of Acts, the church is…
- a going church
- a sending church
- a praying church
- an eating church
- a serving church
- a proclaiming church
- a suffering church
- a teaching church
- a sharing church
- a gathering church
- a growing/expanding/increasing church
On that last description, I haven’t decided which term I prefer.
(By the way, the descriptors above are actually categories. In most cases, several verbs fit within each descriptor and help us understand what the descriptor means. I’ll try to share more about that in a later post.)
What do you think about my descriptions of the church in the Book of Acts so far? What changes, additions, deletions would you make to my list?