14 N.T. Church Characteristics

Outline of 14 Characteristics Found in Acts Chapter 8.

 There is a longing for the church in America to become effective again.

César and Claudia Castellanos, in Colombia, grew a church that affected the nation. César and his wife are the pastors of Misión Carismática Internacional in Bogota, with over 150,000 members. César's teaching about the power of the blood of Jesus has revolutionized the lives of many people and brought healing into marriages and families. MCI has had a great impact on their society to the point that Colombia's President visits the annual MCI G12 International Conference. Involvement by members in discipleship was the key to his work.

 Vs. 1 - 4.    Lay Ministry.

The Apostles stayed in Jerusalem!
The Church Members went everywhere preaching the Word.
(They knew what to say! They explained the Gospel.)
"Jesus came to earth, not to make bad people good, but to make dead people live."

Vs. 5.       Intercultural Outreach.

Crossed ethnic barriers. Reached other cultures.
They reached out to those they formally despised. (cf. vs. 25 Samaritans)
‘Azusa Street' was a Negro church until the Holy Spirit fell.   

Vs. 5.        Strategic ministry began in City Centers.

Paul used this strategy wherever he started a church. He went to centers of population growth and then let the work spread from there.

Vs. 6 - 7.    Signs and Wonders followed them. Mark 16:17.

Transkei/Zulu raid near Umzimkulu, Children of a Mission School lived at the school while parents moved to places of ministry. A Zuly 'Impi' of soldiers attacked the borders of the Transkei, a neighboring country. They were spotted on the high ridge above the mission school, and the staff gathered the children and they prayed for deliverance all night. Amazingly while they prayed, snow fell, in the sub-tropics, and the soldiers were frozen where they lay on the ridge, waiting for the sunrise. God wiped out those attackers in answer to prayer.

Vs. 8.         Great Joy was evident amongst the Believers.

Charismatic Movement of the ‘70's demonstrated this. The mainstream churches particularly  experienced this same great joy, as they were filled with the Holy Spirit, to the point where the Pentecostals looked like 'somnolent saints'.

Vs. 12.        They baptized the adult believing converts.

Eunuch Vs. 38. "Public testimony of Coverts is essential", Billy Graham!

Vs. 14-15.    Concerned Oversight.    

They were supportive of New Church Planting and wanted them to have the same level of experience they themselves had. When the leadership ensures that believers have the 'same like experience' they first received, the churches will grow exponentially. Nicolas Benghu, a greatly annointed South African leader, concentrated on this, His work is now the largest ‘Black Pentecostal work.' in Africa.

Vs. 15 - 17.    Holy Spirit Baptism.

They prayed for Believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
On some it falls, others need to be instructed and prayed with.
"The challenge of this decade is that Pentecostals, no longer be consumers of Pentecostal Blessing, but become good stewards of Pentecostal Power.

Vs. 20 – 21.    Spiritual Humility.

Peter taught that gifts cannot be earned or bought, but relationship with God is key to supernatural gifts. We need to learn this truth today.

Vs. 22 – 23.    Believers must repent of errors committed.

Repent and pray even for the thoughts of our hearts that are wrong. Simon Magus asked Peter to pray for him for this wrong. James 5:16.

Vs. 25        Enlarged Evangelism to the Villages and small places.

Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, then began evangelism outreaches to other Samaritan villages, people they had formerly exchewed. It is time we open not only the doors, but our hearts, to other cultures and ethnic groups in our vicinity.

Vs. 26, 29.     Supernatural Direction in their ministry. (Acts. 16:9-10)

"We are not Physical beings having a spiritual experience. We are Spirits having a Physical encounter".
It takes learning to listen to hear God's voice! More will be accomplished when we talk less to God, and listen longer to hear what he has to tell us.

Vs. 27-29,    International Ministry. Ethiopia!

First act of the British Pentecostal movement was to send 3 to Africa.
Willie Burton, Armstrong and Jimmy Salter went to Africa, and ministered in the Congo. This was 1916, in the middle of the first world war, and supplies and support did not reach them, sometimes for many months. They kept up the work, and Central African Missions (CAM) is still vibrant and effective in the Democratic Rep. of Congo in 2015.
"Missions is not all of us crossing the sea, but it is all of us seeing the Cross".

Vs. 31 – 35    Personal Evangelism.

Philip did what Jesus did. He took the subject at hand, and preached the good news. He pointed to Jesus!
War, Sickness, Divorce, Terrorism, Political Corruption can all be a Springboard, to turn the talk to the need of a Savior.
Jesus is central to our whole presentation. Where do we start? Seek Lord with all your heart, and He will give you His heart.

J. Cole-Rous. Ordained in 1958, Jim has ministered in 14 countries and writes and teaches Biblical Concepts. Permission to use, and/or adapt this outline is hereby given. 2015.