Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Early Church vs. Today’s Church

Since I have been preaching a series on the New Testament church from the book of Acts, it has made me reflect upon the differences between the first century church and the church of today.  This is not intended to be a criticism but just a comparison and a challenge for all of us to think about. 

I am personally challenged greatly by this list because I am in the midst of planting a brand-new church in Athens, Georgia and strongly desire this church to be more like the church in the book of Acts than the church we often see today.

The following are some distinct differences.  I first list the characteristic of the early church, followed by the description of the modern church.  Obviously there are exceptions on both sides. For example, the church at Corinth had some serious sin issues, while there are many churches today that are exceptions to the list below.  My purpose in this list is simply to get the discussion and prayer started about how we might be a more kingdom church today!

1.    Participatory church versus spectator church.
2.    Worshiping God church versus entertained church.
3.    Reaching out to others church versus consumer mentality church.
4.    Word and Spirit church versus Word-only church.
5.    Praying church versus non-praying church.
6.    Radically generous church versus hoarding church.
7.    Serving church versus receiving church.
8.    Every day of the week church versus once-a-week church.
9.    Sacrificial church versus comfortable church.
10.Miracles happening church versus nothing supernatural happening church.
11.Great reputation with outsiders church versus bad testimony to the world church.
12.Persecuted church versus comfortable church.
13.Growing church versus declining church.