As a pastor I would like to verify that we are a funky bunch. In one sense we are commissioned with maintaining a heritage of historical belief, but equally we must invest into the cultural nomenclature such as understanding, “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.” Down the road I will dedicate an entire series to the wonky things pastors think, read, watch and feel, but for now I want to attempt to stay on task with my theme of the day – pastors and the need to see the power of 43 (not 42 – sorry Douglas Adams).
Starting off in the second chapter of Acts we see the birth of the Spirit Infused Church. It is a powerful display of the radical transformation that came with the resurrection of Jesus and the launch of His Unstoppable Force known as the Church (Matthew 16:18). And when we roll into Acts 2:42 we see the four-fold priority of the Church when it says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42). Now in part, why we pastors love this is because it sounds a bit like a formula – the 4 marks of a healthy church. Yet I have been in a few churches where these 4 traits were the centerpiece functionally, and yet even the air smelled stale. Now don’t get me wrong, there was nothing flawed in the technical execution of these four traits. The Word was preached accurately, people interacted personally, prayers were uttered genuinely and communion was devoted fully, but something was still stagnate. They had nailed everything in 42, but they were missing the central reality of 43…
“And awe came upon every soul…” Acts 2:43
It is far too easy to assume that function produces passion, that rule keeping establishes pace setting and that guarding the gate will ignite the heart. Yet the world Jesus invaded was replete with a loyalty to the religiosity of 42, but devoid of the worshipful hunger of 43. Thus what we need ask Jesus and His Spirit to produce in our churches is…
- Biblical moorings and spiritual desperation.
- Emboldened teaching and embedded fire.
- Personal fellowship and spiritual excitement.
- Communion and co-union.
I pray that we would not settle for conservative churches with an absence of presence, but that we would strive to see Jesus cultivate dynamic churches through the display of His attendance – in word, communion, prayer and fellowship, all in anticipation of His awe-filled union among us (1 Corinthians 14:26) .
Thank you Dr. David Wells for pointing out the need for Acts 2:43 in “God In The Whirlwind.”