We’re living in a broken world, but God has called us into His wonderful light, and we are exceedingly grateful.
Five Foundational Truths
We follow the resurrected King Jesus (I Corinthians 15:3-4),
In the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-19),
To the glory of God the Father (I Peter 4:11),
Guided by the Word (2 Timothy 3.16-17),
Making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28.18-20).
The Vision God Has Given Us
Our vision is to imitate the church described in Acts 2:42-47, in the context of the New Testament: "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord
added to their number daily those who were being saved.
How We Will Seek God’s Fulfillment of This Vision
We will have to change what we are devoted to, and it may be uncomfortable. It will require repentance if we’ve been devoted to worldly things.
As we devote ourselves to the same things as the disciples in Acts 2, God will keep His promises to fill us with His Spirit, pour out His love into our hearts, produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and help us to make disciples who make disciples. To be more like the Acts 2 church, we will need to be more grateful and more joyful and more merciful than we are now—so much that it overflows to the world around us. And we believe that this can only come divinely when we seek a deeper relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is our goal.
We Will Engage in the Same Activities as the Acts 2 Church
God has given each of us a part in His plan. Together, we will prioritize, train for, and celebrate four strategies:
1. Radical Hospitality—This includes two important areas of focus:
Radically surrendering our homes and possessions (His already to be used by the Lord to meet needs and develop relationships that make disciples (see the book, Radical Hospitality by Rosaria Butterfield for suggestions.)
Intentionality in the guest experience at church activities, i.e., connecting with visitors, helping them to make new connections, and helping them become meaningfully involved in learning and service.
2. Group Learning & Fellowship—Devotion to gatherings of disciples to learn the Word and encourage one another. This will include:
Frequent gatherings to include worship occasions and devotional times.
Discovery Bible Studies, in which 8-10 disciples and guests personally engage with any passage of scripture by following a simple outline of questions answered by participants, including, “What are you thankful for this week?”, “What are your challenges?”, “What does this passage teach about God?”, “What does this passage teach about people?”, and “Who do I know who would be blessed by learning about this passage?” These encounters should lead to personal Bible studies with new disciples.
3. Disciple-Growing Groups—These are gender-specific groups of four disciples and/or seekers who study together (using a fundamentals workbook), serve together, and recreate (have fun) together for a limited season, perhaps a few months, to grow in understanding of discipleship, close relationships, and personal accountability.
4. Community Outreach—This is involvement in community service to develop new relationships with outsiders in the context of sharing the love of Christ. For example, this could mean meeting the needs of the poor or offering teaching to those that struggle with any of life’s challenges in a broken world. As we share our joy along the way about what God has done for us, some will accept our invitation to hear the Good News and learn more about Jesus.
Training and Surrender
We’re naturally going to need some training, instruction, and encouragement in all of the four strategies above. Logically, training is the first step. To have the boldness and strength to live out the vision, we will also need to stir up our zeal to surrender to God’s powerful transformation through His Spirit.
Your Personal Invitation to Participate
Everyone in our congregation is invited to find their God-given role in helping Bay Area Church of Christ reach the vision of becoming like the Acts 2 church.