by Jerry Watts

A Healthy Church: A Firm Foundation
Jerry Watts
Acts 2:36-47

In 2006 as a new pastor for a church in Alabama I boarded a plane for Southern California where I spent a week at Saddleback Church hearing the teaching of Pastor Rick Warren. In 1995 Rick had released his book entitled ''Purpose Driven Church'' and followed in 2001 with the ''Purpose Driven Life.'' However, the week I spend at Saddleback taking in 2 conferences I heard him say repeatedly that ''Church Growth is not the focus, Church health is.'' He deeply believed and believes that a healthy church will naturally grow both spiritually as well as numerically.

Today let's look at Acts 2 where the Church finds its roots, let's run around some truths related to the health of the church, and make applications to it. One of the applications we must grasp is that 'a church cannot be healthy IF the members who make up that body are not spiritual healthy.' It's like, if your leg has gangrene, your body isn't healthy. Let's dig into the scripture.

Here's the setup: Jesus ascended to heaven in chapter one so 120 believers returned to Jerusalem for prayer. They prayed for 10 days and Holy Spirit of God feel on them with a sound loud enough to attract a crowd (when God shows up, it is rarely 'quiet'). With the crowd gathered, Peter stood to preach. All he preached was the story of Jesus. It is still simply the story of Jesus that people need to hear. It is this story that pricks hearts, changes hearts, and changes lives. We pick up Peter when he begins the altar call. There is no quiet music, no gentle call, and no impassioned plea, just a call for repentance. Let's pick up in verse 36. (TEXT)

Voila!! The church is born and it is a healthy birth. Beginning with 120 members, adding 3000 new people, and then adding new believers every day, I'd say this church began very well. The secret is found in verses 42-47. They gathered, they worshipped, they disciple, they gave, they ministered, they witnessed, a ...

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