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Here’s the Church

Here’s the Church

Acts 1:1–6:7

Many people see churches as a series of disconnected and random buildings scattered around their town, city, or village. God sees the church as His united and revolutionary people placed in every part of our world. The church is not an antiquated religious organization. It is a living and dynamic body of God’s people who continue to grow and transform the world for the glory of Jesus.


Things that are common and right in front of us are often greatly misunderstood. Think about the sun. We see it all the time so we assume we know all about it. But, did you know the sun is 864,000 miles in diameter and is 109 times wider than our earth? How many planets the size of the earth do you think could fit inside the sun? The answer will blow your mind! It is 1,300,000! In other words, the sun is HUGE! How hot is the sun? Look at it this way, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot! But at the core, the sun is about 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hard for us to even imagine that kind of ferocious heat. Maybe we don’t know as much about the sun as we thought we did.

The church is a lot like that. There are churches all over the place. Many people who are doing this 40 Day Study through Acts have been part of the church their whole life. Because it is so familiar to many people, there is a sense that we understand the church. But there is a whole lot more to the church than most of us begin to dream.

Many people see the church as primarily a human-led organization. Churches hold worship services, ask for offerings, do weddings, and bury people. Though this might be true, there is so much more.

Churches are Holy Spirit infused living organisms that are dynamic, alive, and changing the world around them.

Countless people think of the church as dying or dead. The truth is, the global church is growing, expanding, and still fulfilling the mission Jesus declared two thousand years ago. There are more followers of Jesus in the world today than in any time in history and there is a larger percentage of Americans who attend church now than there were at the turn of the twentieth century.

Some people see the church as a remnant of the past that will soon evaporate and disappear into the rear-view mirror of history. God sees his church as a revolutionary movement that will continue to bring global transformation until Jesus comes again in glory.

Yes, the church has been around for a long time. Indeed, there are lots of church buildings around your community. No doubt, there are challenges facing the church in our modern world. But don’t let anyone fool you.

The church is still God’s plan to bring the love, grace, and truth of Heaven to our broken world.

The sun is bigger and hotter than most of us recognize. So is the church! Infused by the very power of heaven, the church is alive and active in our world and more powerful than any of us could imagine.


What was your perception of the church when you were a child, and how has it changed through the years?


Play the video for session one. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts, questions, or key points that stand out to you.

A Sunday School lesson you will never forget. Here’s the church...

Defining the word “Revolution”

Revolution = A complete change (Acts 1:1–8)

Meeting Dr. Luke, the author of the Book of Acts

The person and power of the Holy Spirit

The mission of the church (expanding to the ends of the earth)

Insights from Dr. Rodney Stark

Revolution = A complete circle

A powerful movement of the Holy Spirit

A radical change in the life of Peter

Small gatherings with massive impact

The life of the church

Fellowship and breaking bread

Apostolic teaching and prayer

Radical giving and serving

Numerical growth (More followers of Jesus)

Closed networks or open networks?

An update on the revolution: Be hopeful


Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture. Use the following questions to help guide your discussion.

1.What impacted you the most as you watched Randy’s teaching on the Book of Acts?

2.When you think about a revolution (in light of Randy’s teaching), what images come to your mind, and how can the church be a revolutionary movement of faith in our world?

3.Read Acts 1:4–8. What are ways that the Holy Spirit of God infused and empowered the church in the first century and how do you see that same Spirit alive and at work in the church today?

4.Read Acts 2:1–4,14–18, and 40–41. This passage talks about the same Peter who had denied Jesus three times just a few days earlier. How did the Holy Spirit change Peter? How has the presence and power of God’s Spirit brought change in your life?

5.Read Acts 2:42–47. Describe some of the behaviors, practices, and attitudes that marked the lives of the early Christians described in this passage. How are these things similar or different than what you see in the church today?

6.What are specific and practical things Christians can do today to increase one of these markers of church health?

  • Creating places for connecting together in larger com- munity settings and smaller home gatherings
  • Building a community where people know they belong and are not alone
  • Nurturing an environment of learning, praying, and growing in faith
  • Encouraging acts of service and sacrifice for the sake of others
  • Reaching out to spiritual seekers and loving them right where they are

7.Through all of his extensive studies, Dr. Stark learned that one of the most powerful ways that the church has continued to grow and change the world is through being an open network and not closed to new people. What are ways your church can avoid being closed and grow more committed to being open to people in your community from every walk of life?


Each session, you will be given a key verse (or verses) from the passage covered in the video teaching to memorize. This week, your memory verse is from Acts 1:8:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Have everyone recite this verse out loud. Ask for any volunteers who would like to say the verse from memory.


What will you take away from this session? What is one practical next step you can take that will strengthen your church and unleash the staggering potential God has placed in the community of believers that you are part of?


Close your group time by praying in any of the following directions:

  • Thank God for the great things He is doing through His church around the world and right in the congregation where you are part of His family.
  • Ask the Spirit of God to move in fresh and powerful ways in your church and in another church in your community.
  • Pray for God to grow your passion for the church and your personal engagement in the life of your church.