Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The success of the early church was no mistake. This early church did not stumble across success, but they performed actions that caused their success. After spending three years with Jesus, the apostles copied what they saw Jesus do and led the church to do the same thing, which resulted in the early church getting the Gospel to the world.
Too many churches are looking for new ways to build a successful and growing church instead of replicating the old paths that we know work. We often think there is some secret to building a growing church, but every church that has copied the old paths has found that they work. The question that every church must ask itself is if it is willing to invest the same commitment that the early church invested. When studying the book of Acts, several vital actions show why this early church succeeded. The key phrase to their success, “and they.” Let me share what this church did as a whole.
First, they prayed. Acts 1:24 says, “And they prayed…” No church will do much for God that has little to no prayer. It still takes God to build a growing and effective church. You can try every method of every church building guru, but you will fail without prayer. One of the common actions of this early church was they prayed. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, the apostles prayed at the Mount of Olives. When the apostles came down from the mount, they prayed to ask God’s guidance. Before the big day of Pentecost, they prayed in the upper room. Prayer must be a staple of every church that wants God to bless it and grow it.
Second, they continued. One of the keys of any work that is going to be successful is that it must continue and not change what they know works. This church continued in the doctrine of soul winning, preaching, Holy Spirit fullness, and separation. A church that jumps from one thing to the next will be a church that will flounder and eventually compromise. You must determine what you believe and determine to continue. Stop looking for an easier way to do what you know you are supposed to do and just do what you have already seen others in the old paths do.
Third, they continued daily. In verse 46, this church made it a daily habit to do what Christ commanded them to do. Christianity was not just a weekend gig for the early church, but a daily life they lived, and that is what caused them to impact their world. No church will ever grow that only has time slots that it chooses to do what God commands it to do. Christianity must be a daily life that the church lives if it is going to grow. You can be a soul winner one hour a week and expect God to give you many souls. You can't pray one time a week and expect to have the power of God on your life. You must continue daily in what God commands you to do if you want His power and blessings on your life and church.
Fourth, they ceased not. In Acts 5:42, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ despite the persecution they faced. You cannot cease doing what you are supposed to do in the difficult times and expect God to bless your life or church. My friend, God often blesses the church the greatest that continues in the most difficult of times. It is in the difficult times that God’s power is seen the greatest in those who choose to cease not. When difficulties come, cease not. When you cease not is when God steps in and blesses beyond what you could imagine.