When someone tells you they go to an ACTS church, I’d like you to ask them if they are these four things, one at a time.
Does your church draw people in? What about it draws people in? What about it has magnetism? Are those good things that Jesus used to draw people to Himself? What if people never came to where you are waiting? If an Urban church opens, do the lost in the suburbs know about it?
This word means something connotatively as well as historically.
1. Does it work like a business? Is it run like a business? Does it feel like a business? Are the leaders of the church leading like it’s a business—like they are the leader? Is Jesus the head of it or is He CEO Emeritus?
2. Are the members of the church linked as if they are a single body with Christ as her head? Is there unity and togetherness at supernatural levels? Does it feel like a non-dysfunctional family?
Is it big? Is it huge? I mean, like 3,000 added in a single day huge?! (You didn’t think I was going to say that big was good, did you?) Are the poor riding with the rich? Is the worship band playing even though passengers are dying? What about life boats? Can people leave safely and survive on their own?
People like McDonald’s because it is consistently mediocre. People like the corner tavern burger because it’s unpredictable and likely to be astounding and delicious. Is your church stable? How so? What features are restful and certain and faithfully stable? What features are lulling people into thinking McDonald’s meat is real meat? Is your stability rooted in God or in the status quo and devotion to keeping things the way you liked them in 1972?
None of these are meant as a direct attack, but they are meant as a loose root on the trail to trip you up. It’s all too easy to take the easy and deadly way out when it comes to our ecclesiology. There is a lot that we do, not realizing we are eloquently reading the wrong directions. Check out the last chapter of each of the gospels and then read Acts.
It’s a beautiful thing. It’s attractive and corporate and titanic and stable in all the right ways, and I’m still looking for it.