The gap between the lifestyle of the First Century Church and our own is
enormous. The things that we longingly dream about were, for the most part,
a natural and normal part of the early Christian congregations that we read
about in the New Testament. Is it possible, without aping the culture of the
First Century, to discover afresh what was present then but is so often (but
not always) missing from Christian communities of today.
Is there a pattern to follow? Some sort of blueprint of how a Church
grows step by step from a group of people who worship together to a time
when it is literally a mission base that God is using to change the
spiritual environment in which it is set?
The answer is yes. As we read the story of the young church in action in
the Acts of the Apostles we find in Acts 18:18 to 20:1 how the Church
planted by Paul and his team in Ephesus developed step by step, over a
relatively short period, from a small band of new converts into a
significant missionary centre that positively effected the whole of Asia
Minor at a significant point in history. And this took place in the most
Is God saying something special to us about how we too can become “more
and more a Church like Jesus”.