A Study of Acts

Before our Launch team Training meetings, we will individually read a section of Acts as we desire to see how Christ began to plant churches.

This simple study of the book of Acts doesn’t require you to purchase any study guides, it simply requires a Bible for everyone.  when we meet in training, the key question to answer is: What lessons are there in this passage about growing a healthy church and being the church? 

On Sunday nights, we will break the large group up into groups of 3-4 people and have them read the text out loud in their group.  We will discuss these passages and questions in our small group and share any findings to the large group.  See the study below. 



4/3.  Week 1: Acts 2:1-4, 42-47, The Beginning of the Church

1.      In your mind, when you consider the church of Acts 2, what is attractive?

2.      As you read this passage, what would you hope to incorporate in The Vine?

3.      A by-product of this communal faith life was seeing people come to faith in Christ; evangelism.  How could evangelism become a normal, natural part of our new church?

4.      Prayer seems to be a marker of this early church.  What could we put in place to make prayer a large part of what we do?

5.      This church experienced the Holy Spirit in dramatic ways.  What might dependence on the Holy Spirit look like for a church family?

6.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations?


4/10.  Week 2:  Acts 4:8-31, Proclaiming the Gospel

1.      As you read this passage, what are some descriptions you see used to describe Peter and John?  Are these descriptions comforting or challenging as you consider how God might want to use you?

2.      In what ways would your life be different if you had that same boldness?  What might a church with that boldness look like today?

3.      It seems like these followers of Christ lived with an expectancy that God could move in power in their midst.  What would it look like to live with the same type of expectancy? 

4.      What evidence could provoke someone to say of followers of Christ that “these people have been with Jesus?” (verse 13)

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?


5/29.  Week 3:  Acts 11: 19-30, Barnabas and the Church Spreading Out

1.      God longs for the church to spread out.  In this passage he did so through persecution, but it is not always this way.  How might planting The Vine a part of this God-given desire to spread out?

2.      What would it mean for us to be BOLD in bringing Christ to Austin?

3.      Barnabas had a ministry of being encouragement (v23).  Why is the ministry of encouragement so needed?  How could we be encouragers to one another?

4.      How could you grow in your willingness and ability to communicate more Jesus more consistently?

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

6/12.  Week 5:  Acts 16: 1-5, Paul and Young Timothy

1.      In this passage, we see Paul’s relationship with Timothy.  Who has been a mentor for you? 

2.      Who might God be leading you to encourage or invest into? 

3.      Here we see part of Paul’s job was to share the thoughts and decisions that elders and apostles had in Jerusalem.  This is a reminder that the earlier church were connected much like a family. (v4)
What does our connection with our denominational family, the Evangelical Covenant Church, mean to you?  Is there any importance to this for you?

4.      In verse 5, we see the churches “were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers”.  What might growth mean for the church today?  What might it not mean? 

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

6/26.  Week 6: Acts 16:6-15, Macedonia

1.      In this passage, we see God involved in directing the church plant movement.  As you think about the area we are called to minister to, who lives in the neighborhoods around us?

2.      Like Paul being sent to Macedonia, where might the Holy Spirit be leading you to go that you haven’t yet been?

3.      What are effective ways to clearly extend an invitation to people to enter into a relationship with Jesus?

4.      What could we do with those who “open their heart to respond to Christ’s message”? (v14)

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

7/10.  Week 7:  Acts 17: 16-23, Paul in Athens

1.      In this passage, we see Paul entering into spiritual conversations.  Where do you hear spiritual conversations, and how could you enter those? 

2.      Paul looked around Athens and saw an altar to “An Unknown God”.  He saw this as an opportunity to speak of Jesus.  What are the things in our culture that might be pointing to Jesus? 

3.      How can we engage the unchurched without offending or alienating them?

4.      How should we handle the possibility of rejection or mocking when we talk about Jesus? 

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

7/24.  Week 8:  Acts 18: 1-11, Paul in Corinth

1.      What is there to learn about Paul trying and failing to see the Gospel take root in the Jewish community of Corinth? (vv5-6)

2.      Through Paul’s message, many believed and were baptized.  Why is baptism important and profound?

3.      Twice in this passage, we see clarity on Paul’s role (v5, 9).  What should our priorities be as a new church plant? 

4.      If we planted churches like Paul, what might that look like?

5.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

8/7.  Week 9:  Acts 18: 23-28, Apollos

1.      The early church saw the importance of what to do with new converts like Apollos.  Why is it important for The Vine to identify new, emerging leaders and provide them a place to serve?

2.      Why can new converts speak of the Gospel in a way that many long-standing Christians can’t? 

3.      What are the essential things that Christians need to know to share their faith?

4.      How can The Vine be a safe place for those who are exploring a faith in Christ?

5.      How could we disciple those who come to know Jesus?

6.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

8/21.  Week 10:  Acts 19:8-22, Paul and Miracles

1.      Verses 8-9 share even if you are doing God’s work, it is not guaranteed to lead into a powerful revival.  What might God teach us when things aren’t as successful as we might hope?

2.      The rest of this passage speaks of the way God uses Paul.  If you have one, share a time when you witnessed God’s power on display.  What is your reaction? 

3.      Why might we not see this type of evidence of God’s power in the church today?

4.      After an experience of the supernatural, the people get rid of their idols.  Idols are anything that receives our love, hope and worship before God.  When you think of our culture (in Austin and America) what idols might be prevalent?  What would it take today for people to turn from those idols?

5.      What does it mean to repent?  What evidence is there that this has happened in someone’s life?

6.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

9/4.  Week 11:  Acts 20: 17-38, Paul and the Church Leaders

1.      Why do you think Paul gave this little speech to the leaders of the church?

2.        Paul in verse 24 speaks “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."  How do you feel now, one week away from launching.  Where would you say we are on the race and what does it mean for us to run this race well?

3.      In your mind, what is the core message of the Gospel?

4.      As you consider Paul’s life, what responsibilities come with being a leader in the church?

5.      If you are totally committed to Christ, what is it going to cost you?

6.      Do you have any other thoughts or observations from this passage?

 


Much of the above material was provided with permission by http://www.churchplantingwiki.com/index.php/wiki/Lessons_in_Church_Planting_from_the_Book_of_Acts/