A few days ago I had the privilege of teaching a school of ministry class on material relating to the book of Acts in the Bible. I asked the class to describe in one word descriptions the church as it was birthed and grew in the book of Acts. For the next several minutes they shared many descriptions, some of which were "bold, powerful, prayer, missions, conflict resolution, healing,unity, persecution, love, growth..." They shared so many I was certain they had studied very well.
I then asked them to describe in one word descriptions the church in 2011. After sitting quiet for a few moments, they began: "passionless, weak, divided; directionless; traditional..." Then someone said it's not that "bad" in my church. We agreed there are pockets of good things happening in the church in 2011.
Then I asked them how does the church of 2011 compare to the Acts church. They were uncertain and did not want to answer. They came to an conclusion: the two don't have a lot of similarities.
I told them I set them up. It is so easy to evaluate what was and what is. And then we compare and start to find reasons why it is what it is. We often want to place blame on past situations or leadership or on current situations or leadership.
Then I formed the last consideration. I said it really doesn't matter what the church in Acts was like, and it doesn't matter what the church of 2011 is like; what matters is what are you like? You could have heard a pin drop.
I ask us all to consider, what do I look like in light of the Acts church? Could i become Acts - s second book? We cannot produce change while playing a blame game. We cannot change others. We can change ourselves. We effectively influence for change when we produce change in us.
May it be said of our generation years from now or as we gather in heaven for a testimony meeting, they were full of passion, power, purpose, loving, etc. May it be the Holy Spirit who testifies about us: There was another generation, We call them the Acts Church - number 2.
God help us!