Let your mind take you back to 50 days after Passover. The believers came together in thankfulness for the first harvest, and strange things started to happen. Flames of fire appeared out of nowhere (no one could blow them out), the noise of a Katrina-like hurricane roared through and, without the benefit of Rosetta Stone CDs, people started sharing the gospel in languages they had never spoken before. The result? Several thousand skeptics crossed the line of faith and became fervent followers of Jesus. Pretty cool, huh?
Can it happen again? Of course. “In the last days,” God says, “I will pour my Spirit upon all people” (Acts 2:17). We believe Him. We think that conversions ought to be normal. We pray and expect that God will use leaders today to create prevailing churches where God is the hero and believers love nothing more than helping skeptics learn about Him.
We didn’t coin the term “prevailing church,” but we like it. We use it all the time around Mission Catalyst because it captures what we sense God is calling us to create. We are thankful for every church that lifts up Jesus (“wherever two or three are gathered”), but we will pay just about any price to build a prevailing church. Here is what we mean. See if it sounds exciting to you.
- The church ethos is unselfish; it’s all about the next person who needs to meet Jesus.
- The church understands and connects with the culture through music, technology, preaching, and the arts.
- A high percentage of attenders had no church background before finding this church.
- Authentic Acts 2 community happens (largely, but not exclusively) through its system of small groups.
- The stories of supernatural life-change and radical discipleship are countless.
- The church never stops reaching more people. Whatever the church’s age, it continues to grow.
- The church has an increasingly significant footprint in the community. You can’t miss it.