Updated: Mar 9
The fourth characteristic of the first-century church was the continual, incremental growth. There wasn’t an explosion of growth. There were no plans for megachurches. You have little gatherings. Little by little, the church began to grow. In the first-century, as the apostles are going out, they were teaching, and the Kingdom of God was coming. The understanding of the new covenant sealed by his blood was understood, and they would go out and find people that were believers.
The leaders of the first-century church would go to these small towns and in villages, and they would appoint elders. They were instructed to find someone in the city. Did we meet the qualification of an elder? Qualifications from an elder are in Timothy and Titus. The same qualifications for elders are the same as for deacons. It’s all there in the Word.
“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” - 1 Timothy 3:1-7
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” - Titus 1:5-9
When they found someone that had those qualifications, they would appoint them as a leader over the flock. That’s what we wish to do worldwide, as an antidote to mankind’s apostasy and the devaluation and contempt of God. There must be an antidote to everything that’s happening, that’s anti-christ, anti-God.
These elders have their work cut out for them according to Titus:
“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. … They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” - Titus 1:10-11, 16
So we feel God has called us to establish places of gathering or existing churches that are under the 501(c)3 umbrella in America. An elder can is appointed that there can be a safe place for repentance, faith & growth without control or fear. These characteristics are very key to growth in the church.
There can be a safe place. I know that when I began my journey, I became a safe place for people just as a believer. Then after about two years into being a safe place in what was doing, I was asked by an existing church to become the senior pastor. I began my journey of being a pastor. I’ve learned an awful lot about being a pastor over these 35 years, and perhaps some of that experience will be important for the stability of the long term growth.
Were sin abounds, grace much more abounds. And in these days there must be a place where people can come to change. It’s a safe place, not a place of argument, not a place to debate, but a place to learn about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Learn who we are in the new birth, understand the prophetic timeline, the journey, on into the millennium, on in the new heavens and new earth. Understand why we were called out of a people and learn to find our place in it. One of the key scriptures that just drives me is this Scripture; When the Son of man returns shall He find faith in the earth?
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” - Luke 18:8
I want to be part of establishing places of faith in the earth in these troublesome times of anti-God, anti-Israel thinking. Will you consider joining God’s possible calling to serve Him? If you are interested, visit actsglobal.com for details or go straight to apply.actsglobal.com.