God’s Blueprint for the Local Body

2015 RightNow Conference

In Acts 2:42–47 God provides us with a snapshot of what life during the First Century Church looked like. Arguably, the mission of the Church is described in great detail. In this session from the 2015 RightNow Conference, D.A. Horton works through this passage in order to  find transcendent principles we can apply in our context today.D.A. is an urban church planter and the author of G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith. 

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

The Fellowship of the Believers

42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.44And all who believed were together and had all things in common.45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

D.A. described the Church in Acts 2:42–47 as a blueprint for healthy churches today, where worship is expressed though:
  • Sound Doctrine (v. 42)
  • Submission to God (v. 42)
  • Support for Others (vv. 44–45)
  • Simple Fellowship (v. 46) 

Describe your church background and experience in ministry. Have you ever been in a church where one or all of these were missing? How did their absence impact growth, discipleship, and community in the church?
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In what ways does the church you serve in today mirror the blueprint above? If revival breaks out, would your church be ready to teach, disciple, and love new converts? Describe what that might look like, or what might need more time and attention.
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The new converts in this passage were “devoted” to the apostles and each other. What does devotion and unity look like in your local body? How could you teach and encourage congregants to devote their lives to each other like they would a spouse, conflict and all?
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D.A. said, “We are worshipping God when we share our resources with those who have need in the local body.” He described resources as anything God has given us to support others like:

  • Money
  • Time
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Prayer
  • Helpful Skills
  • Influence
  • Babysitting
  • Event Planning
  • Clothing
  • Healthcare
  • Business 
  • Housing 
  • Meals 

In what ways have you and your family you been supported by the generosity of your local body? What specific resources do you leverage to support them? What else could you do?
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What does simple fellowship look like in your life? How does doing life with other believers encourage your faith and increase your worship?
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D.A. compared a healthy church to an orchestra—moving parts working together under the leadership of Christ to make harmonious and beautiful music that draws others in and brings glory to God. With the first century Church as our guide, may this be our vision and prayer.

For more information about the RightNow Conference and how you can attend the next event, visit rightnowconferences.org