the baby and the bathwater

Acts 2 Church
October 15, 2009, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Acts 2 church

It’s one of those buzz-phrases isn’t it?

An Acts 2 church.

We hear it all the time.

It’s the basis for home groups, small groups, meeting-in-homes-church, doing-church-the-down-to-earth-and-real-way-type-of-church.

Loads of churches around the world call themselves it.

An Acts 2 church.

“The big gathering is dead. Old. Pre-modern in a post-modern world” we hear the emerging church voices cry.

“Mega church models are dead”, say the prophets of big-church-doom in loud-voiced-boom.

‘Small’ is the new ‘big’ they say.

Acts 2 church is where it’s at.

But hang on a minute.

Yes, the people of God had central worship times, in the big gathering, in the temple, in the synagogue before Acts 2. But the new Christians continue to meet in the Temple after Act 2, and only stopped when the persecution starts (understandably). Then in Paul’s travels he goes to the Synagogs, the meeting places, to preach and teach and share the Gospel. Then in his teaching in his letters to the churches that were the truly emerging churches, he speaks about worship primarily in terms of bigger church gatherings.

And when we get to Revelation we find our eternal destiny is in the company of people from all tribes and all nations.


Loads of them.


Every one.


None missing.

So really, shouldn’t the new ‘big’ really be ‘bigger’?

In fact isn’t there more evidence Biblically for the big church gathering than the small group gathering?

Of course I totally believe in the concept of relationship, and smaller groups of people who support and care for each other, and who cook meals for each other, and who are accountable to each other.

Totally understand all of that.

It’s crucial to life.

But my question is this: do we really want church to stay in Acts 2 when it’s Revelation 21 that we’re heading for?

Shouldn’t we pause before we belittle big.

Because if John’s dream is anything to go by, it seems that big is beautiful and big is here to stay.


8 Comments so far
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‘And that was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Trinity party’

*tongue firmly in cheek*


Comment by Andy McConnochie


Comment by neilbennetts


Comment by Nae Lippett


Comment by Rich Johnson

there were 3000 of them in Acts 2… which was small compared to say Acts 4’s 5000 men (plus their families…)

Comment by dave bish

My only problem with this is when numbers become the primary focus. When large numbers gather due to the manifest presence of God, great! But some churches might think that the manifest presence of God will only be there when they’ve promoted themselves in the right way to bring in the numbers. That’s when Churches get built on their image, not the image of God. And the activity of the church is directed to “getting ’em in”, rather than “ushering HIM in”. This appears a bit back-to-front to me…

Comment by Kev

Kev, I agree….the ideal is to do both very well. Usher Him in AND get them in so they can meet each other!

Comment by Nobby

Previously I was a member of a very large 5000 seat church in Orlando. And, at the same time, I was a member of a home study group. My wife and I had the best of both worlds, because their was a multitude of gifts to be revealed and exercised in the big church, with fabulous choirs and soloists and activities galore. But we got really close and personal in the small group and shared in all the ups and downs of each others’ lives. Both venues together are awesome!

Comment by Jimmy Nelson

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