The Fifth Characteristic of a Healthy Church: A Commitment to Share with Courage
Written by J. Warner Wallace |
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
In spite of intense opposition, the apostles and their disciples entered the temple and preached the truth about Jesus. This courageous stand for the truth often brought them into conflict with the world around them.
The first community of saints reflected the power and nature of God with their lives. The early Church followed their Biblical example (recorded in the Book of Acts) as they emulated the nature and essence of the first disciples. The observations of those who witnessed the early Church should inspire and guide us. If we were to imitate the earliest energized believers, our churches would transform the culture and inspire a new generation. How can we, as Christians today, become more like the Church that changed the world and transformed the Roman Empire? We must learn the truth, strive for unity, live in awe, serve in love, share with courage and overflow with joy. These six important characteristics were held by the earliest congregations:
And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Six simple attributes were observed in the earliest believers. These characteristics can serve as a template and guide for those of us who want to restore the passion and impact of the early Church. If we employ them today, we’ll create healthy, vibrant, transformative churches. As grateful Christ followers, our gratitude should motivate us to share the truth with others:
Principle #5: Share with Courage
The Church must live a bold and fearless life surrendered to the cause of Christ: