The Jerusalem Church: An Introduction


I can’t help but be in awe of the Jerusalem church. They started on the day of Pentecost with nearly 3000 members (Acts 2:41). Then they just kept growing from there. According to Acts 4:4, the number of men came to be about 5000. That means they could have more than 10,000 members by the time you count wives, unmarried women, widows, and children. In Acts 5:14-16, we learn that multitudes of men and women continued to be added to the church and they were influencing folks from the surrounding towns. In Acts 6:7, we see that even some of the priests (who were often Sadducees) were becoming Christians. What tremendous growth they had.

Of course, we know about the persecution that took place in Acts 8:4 scattering everyone except the apostles. However, by the time Paul visited Jerusalem in Acts 21:20, the church was in the thousands again.

The church was so strong that they were able to send brethren to help out in other congregations even after the persecution started. In Acts 8:14, Peter and John were sent to help the Christians in Samaria. In Acts 11:22, they sent Barnabas to help strengthen the fledgling church in Antioch.

In Acts 4, we see them face down the beginnings of persecution. In Acts 6 we see them over come potential division. In Acts 15, we see them lead the way to unity between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.

Jerusalem is definitely a model for us. But what did they actually do? Is there anything we can actually emulate? Can we be what they were? I think we can. We simply need to examine their work on a very practical level. Sadly, few churches today ever become what Jerusalem was because few of us do what they did. Sure, we teach what they taught. But sometimes we avoid the very practical way in which they conducted their work and so we limit the growth and success we can have.

Over the next several Thursdays (I haven’t figured out how many yet), I’d like to examine the Jerusalem church and see what made it successful and what didn’t. I hope this can spark some great discussion for us as we strive to be what God wants us to be as individual Christians and as congregations.

Remember, God’s way works.

Index of Posts


What Didn’t Make it Work–Miraculous Gifts

What Didn’t Make it Work–Times Were Different Then

The Jerusalem Vision–An Exemplary Church, not a Mother Church

The Jerusalem Vision–One More Member, not 10,000 members

The Jerusalem Vision–Every Hand Working, not Enough Hired Hands

The Jerusalem Vision–Enough Workers, not 12 Evangelists

The Jerusalem Vision–Close-knit Family, not a Corporation

The Jerusalem Vision–Personal Sacrifice, not Communism

The Jerusalem Vision–Problem Solving, not Problem Free

The Keys to Their Success–Summary and Overview

The Keys to Their Success–Devoted to God

The Keys to Their Success–One Heart and One Soul

The Keys to Their Success–The #1 Reason a Congregation Needs Unity

The Keys to Their Success–4 Keys to Congregational Unity

The Keys to Their Success–The 3 Internal Problems Churches Face

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